Monday, August 11, 2008

Blueberries for Kitten

Lyman Orchards, in central Connecticut, is one of my favorite places on Earth.

I go there year-round to purchase produce from the Apple Barrel, but I especially go from now till October, when the blueberries, apples, and pumpkins are in season. Right now the blueberries are ripe for picking, and I was overjoyed to learn that the first bushels of apples are ready--ginger golds, among my favorite varieties.

Yesterday I picked a pint of blueberries. At $1.85 a pound, they weren't cheap, but they were a lot cheaper than what I can get in the market. They're also a lot fresher, and better, too. I like to pick a bunch and freeze 'em, so I have enough for the winter.

Does this plotline sound familiar, readers? It should if you read the wonderful book, Blueberries for Sal, when you were younger. Robert McCloskey, who also wrote Make Way for Ducklings, wrote this gem. It's about a young girl, Sal, and her mother, who live in Maine and spend a day picking blueberries together on a mountain. While they're picking blueberries for the winter, a mama bear and her cub venture along the mountain, eating enough blueberries to get them through their winter hibernation. Sal meets the mama bear along the way, and Sal's mother gets acquainted with the bear cub. Both mother are very surprised to meet cubs of the other species, but fortunately, and this being a children's book, there is no violence, just shock and surprise.

So every time I pick blueberries, I think of that wonderful book, and the sound the berries made when they entered Sal's bucket: kerplink, kerplank, kerplunk! I'm going picking again tomorrow, since I picked a pint for my mother but didn't get to pick any myself!

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