I was walking down the trail when I came across two Native women inspecting the ground alongside the path.
“They out yet?” I asked as I passed them.
“Have you seen any?” One asked in reply.
“No, I haven’t, but I wouldn’t trust my judgement.”
The second woman said, “I think it’s a bit early, but they are right around the corner!”
I agreed it was too early, but she was also correct that the blueberries would be ‘right around the corner’. Once that happens, the trail would be lined with people carrying little, red, berry pickers and white, plastic buckets.
I’m not a fan of combat fishing, and I have no patience for combat berry picking, but it is a social event that many others mark on their calendars. I know where there are always blueberries on the Back 40 that my friends and I go to when the urge comes to stock up, but for the most part that bounty gets eaten by the birds and the bears.
Still, for a period of time every summer, Interior Alaska sets up an all you can eat buffet for blueberry fans. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the competition… both four legged and two.