Sunday, August 11, 2013

Thanks to Hundreds of Volunteers

For the past week, hundreds of Cook County residents have been involved in the search for a local man who appears to have been lost while blueberry picking. It has been a long and frustrated job for everyone who has participated. Using a grid pattern, over 500 acres of land have been walked once, trice and sometimes three times. Sitting reading this, you might wonder how an eighty-year-old man cannot be found.

If you have seen the country, all questions would be removed. It is right in the heart of an area that was affected by the 1999 Blowdown and the 2007 Ham Lake Fire. There are blown down trees, burned tree trunks, and 4-6 foot brush everywhere. In addition there are granite rocks, cervices, and caves. Added to this is extremely wet conditions that make for slippery footing. Every step must be carefully considered. To give you an idea of how thick the brush is, three searches came across a moose in the brush. Everyone looked at each other and then went their separate ways. We wish the searchers well and give them our thanks for such hard work.

Yesterday Bruce and I took a couple hours off to go blueberry picking with two of the guests. We motored over to Magnetic Lake and found a small open spot amidst granite rocks. The area was covered with blueberries and they were huge berries! We have never seen them so big. Many were as big as domestic ones. Of course they have a lot more favor. I spent two hours this morning cleaning and freezing our berries. Tomorrow I will make a blueberry pie for us all to share.

When we got home, everyone was thankful that the trip was accomplished without a stumble or a fall. None of the four of us are as agile as we once where. Between climbing out of the boat, up the rocks, over half burned trees, down cervices to the big ones, back up again, then down into the boat, not a single berry was lost. What a wonderful way to spend a couple hours. I will remember this when my Grandson Grant calls to remind me to make more blueberry jam.

The middle of August is not here yet. Even so the days are a little shorter. The nights are a little cooler. The shrubs along the side of the road are starting to turn color. We still have weeks to go before fall color is upon us, but these shrubs are the first signal that summer is coming to an end. Except for one week in July, it has been a cool summer with steady patches of rain mixed with sunshine. It is why the blueberries are so huge.

Now the raspberries are ripening. I made nine jars of jam yesterday. These jars will help answer Granddaughter Mae’s questions about when we pick raspberries. At three she just sits and picks and eats. That sounds good to me.

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