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!