A singular incident occurred today, which I will share with you. I am working nonstop on my new book, Nuts And Berries Of New England and realized that while I had already written my chapter on wild strawberries, I didn’t have any fresh photos to accompany the text.
I had been keeping track of some strawberries in front of my house, but they were slow in ripening. Today, I thought surely they must be dead ripe, fresh and juicy, so I wound my way through the brush to where they grew and found them gone. Some critter had pre-empted me.
So drawing upon memory, I went down the road where I live, searching places where strawberries previously grew. But the open areas had grown in, as they will, making it too dense and shady for strawberries. I gave up and headed home and on the way, saw my neighbor and his fiancé walking down the road, taking a stroll, or so I thought.
As it turned out, the pair was heading to a fine patch of ripe strawberries. Who would have thought that at the same time I was out searching for berries to photograph, my neighbor was headed to a large patch of ripe berries, just waiting to be picked and, of course, photographed. This is, I believe, called “the law of synchronicity.”
This place was just a short distance past where I gave up my search and turned around. So the two hopped in my car and we drove to the designated area and sure enough, it was red with berries.
My neighbor and partner began picking and I began shooting photos. Anyone who has ever attempted to photograph wild strawberries will immediately know the trials and tribulations involved in the process. Focus on one berry and all the others go out of focus. Try and focus on a wider view and the overall photo becomes less sharp. Besides that, grass, weeds and leaves all vie for center focus, making it a poke-and-hope procedure at best.
Anyway, I shot lots and lots of photos and of them, perhaps three were “keepers.” But that’s not bad, all things considered.
I find it odd, that I make a living writing about nature and wild foods and at the moment, am so busy writing about it that I haven’t time to devote to gathering the wild produce. Or at least, I haven’t as much time as I would wish. But better busy than not, I suppose.
Anyway, lots of plants are coming online right now. I see buds on daylilies swelling, about right to pick and cook as per green beans. Lots of seaside plants are up and ready, too. These include sea blite, orache, goosetongue and sea rocket.
So if you can, I do hope you can make time to get out and harvest some of the wonderful wild fruits and vegetables that grow so abundantly here in the great old State of Maine.