Thursday, July 19, 2012

Battle Wounds

I was back in the bilberry patch this morning.  This time up by the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge.  It's my favorite spot to pick up there, so I was pretty pumped the day had come.  

So there I was, bucket around my waist, looking for little purple globes of glory.  I found some right away, and then the mosquitoes found me.  Grr, I thought.  But I picked last time in the skeeters.  I knew I just had to ignore them and smack them when I felt them land.

Soon I found some glorious patches.  I knelt right down in them to pick away.  Before I knew it, I had blackflies up my nose and in my eyes.  Just swarming me.  Okay, I can do mosquitoes for the berry trade, but blackflies too???  It's almost August!!!  I wanted a bugnet.  But even more so, I wanted to get the hell out of the woods.  Whimper whimper.  My neck was swelling up from all the bites.  I could feel bumps forming around the edge of my bandana.  Are the berries really worth all this???

Yes.  Yes they are.  I stayed and picked and blew those nasty little flies out of my nose and picked them out of my eyes and smeared berry juice on my face as I tried to swat them away.  But berry picking is a two handed job, so free hands were hard to come by.  My gosh.  I picked about two quarts of bils and some thimbleberries on the side.  

Since my allotted picking time was dwindling, I made my way toward the bottom of the Keweenaw Ridge.  I kid you not, as soon as I stepped down 12 feet in elevation, the bugs were gone.  All of them.  The sun was out and the bugs were completely gone.  Thank goodness.  I even ran into the trail-working crew, and they said they hadn't seen any bugs at all.  I showed them my bumps and continued down the trail.

Ah, home safe and sound with berries in the freezer.  The swelling will go down soon enough.

By the way, it's really nice and cool here now.  Lots of visitors are coming up to escape the heat, and they are finding much relief.  It's only been in the 70's lately.  We sure are lucky!


  1. Funny how the little biters haunt some spots and not others. I stir them up when I mow grass in the field with a scythe to mulch the garden with. Then, when I pick up the grass they are mostly gone.

  2. Yes, I agree, you are lucky.
    We enjoy reading about the great UP!

  3. You're one tough UPer to put up with those pests Amanda! Ive learned that it's mind over insect in these situations, even though you end up paying in the end. I'm bummed that I'm missing the berry season this year since it was so early. I am happy to hear that you got yours though, bites and all. It's worth it!.. easy for me to say. Please keep on keepin' on in da Keweenaw, and filing us mere mortals in on the fun.
    Thank You!

  4. Wow! You are a dedicated and determined woman! Don't think I would have done that. When I am in the middle of something hard and don't feel like doing it and know I it would be best, guess what? I am going to think of Amanda and keep on going:) You are an inspiration.

  5. I'll be there next week. Can't wait!