Nature photography from a woman in the woods

The Wild Edible Race . . .

“I love berries. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, black berries,

anything with an ‘errie’ in it!” ~ Jordin Sparks

 

hazelnut

There are a several wild  foods out there in the summer woods that are worth waiting for, working to get, suffering bug bites for, and racing the critters to.

Above, is a picture of a hazel nut .. probably the hardest wild edible  to pick at just the right time.  If you pick too soon, they are green, bitter, mushy … icky.  If you wait too long, the squirrels get them all.  It seems the squirrels have a secret radar and know exactly the time/day of ripeness and they pick them all and stow them away fast.  When I see a squirrel picking them, I know I need to get out at that very  moment if I want a small handful of them … because they will probably all be gone by the next day.

And, then there are the berries.  In my opinion, the flavors of the wild variety of berries is 100% better than the tame/gardened varities.  The berries are smaller but the flavor is more intense.  After you have tasted wild berries, you will never enjoy the tame varieties as much.

Wild raspberries are turning pink and a few red ones can be seen.  These are the most abundant berries around my house and I usually do not have to race to get my share.  The squirrels, chipmunks and birds enjoy them .. so do the bears, but they do not come that close to my home.  Besides, there are plenty of them growing everywhere in the woods. Wild blueberries are the most precious to me .. I love them.  The plants had tons of green berries this Spring and I found a handful of blue ones this weekend, so the race to pick will begin.  In the wild blueberry world the race is not just against the critters, it is also a human race to get to the berries in all of our “secret” spots first.
raspb blueberries

The June berries are also ripe and ready to pick.  I am not sure why they are called June berries, because they are never ready to pick in June.  They are a lot like blueberries but grow on taller bushes.  I find their skins are a bit tougher than blueberries, but overall juicier.

juneberry

 

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7 responses

  1. Some berries are ripening here now too. A few huckleberries were ripe this week (and eaten personally) and Serviceberries are at their peak now. Life is good! Today I saw a bunch of Serviceberry bushes that had been thoroughly gone over, I suspect by a bear.

    July 27, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    • I have never heard of serviceberries … what are they like?

      July 28, 2014 at 12:24 am

      • After a little research, “Serviceberry” and “Saskatoon” are other names for June berries. I had never heard of them being called June berries before. They are among my top favorites. When I saw your photos I thought they looked just like what we call Serviceberries, (Amelanchier alnifolia).

        July 28, 2014 at 11:06 am

  2. Hi Bearyweather, I have picked wild Blackberries, Dewberries, and Pecans. Thought about picking wild grapes but decided I shouldn’t because they looked funny. When in doubt, leave it alone. Glad you enjoy Blueberries. I had hopes of growing a few on the little farm but since we moved, that idea ended. I do have a micro mini veggie garden here at the condo. Have a splendid weekend and enjoy your bounty!

    August 1, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    • Currently, there are a few bushes with red berries on I really want to find out what they are. Hoping they are high bush cranberries, but thinking they may just be a non-etible …

      August 10, 2014 at 11:52 am

  3. Bearyweather, I had no idea those were wild hazelnuts. Learned something today, thank you! As for June berries/Service berries…I tried eating them twice and felt ill both times. My husband ate them and thought they were great. Weird, huh?

    August 3, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    • Yes, they are “beaked” hazelnuts … the bushes grow all around my house (4-6 ft high) and there are two kinds that grow in Minnesota that I am aware of. Kathy, I bet they grow by you, too. They look like ordinary leafy bushes until you get close to see the nut pods.

      I saw a lot of activity in the bushes yesterday .. thought the squirrels were picking them so I picked a cluster of two .. not ripe yet. I just know they are going to get them all like they do every year. Probably ripen and be stolen by the squirrels on the first day of school 😦

      I like blueberries much more then the June Berries (except the June berries are easier to pick) .. the June berries seem to have very small seeds inside, but a nice flavor.

      August 10, 2014 at 11:59 am

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