Berries

It’s feeling more and more like autumn, which isn’t really surprising since autumn is getting closer and closer every day. This summer has felt cooler and drier than usual and autumn seemed to arrive early, but I think autumn always feels like it comes earlier than expected,

Friday morning EJ and I went to the Farmer’s Market and bought tomatoes. We had considered trying a different market, just for fun and discovery, but most of those we found on the Internet were opened only one day a week, and the day was not Friday. So we went to our usual “permanent” Market.

When we got home, EJ began the canning process. I offered to help in any way I could, but he wanted to focus on tweaking his process so I left him to it. Over the years, we have developed a relationship in which if one of us has a vision for a project, he/she gets to be the “boss” of the project and the other plays a supporting role, which we call “hero support.” We did this initially with home improvement projects when one of us had a creative vision for a room–sometimes it was EJ and sometimes me–and the other would help bring the vision to life. It has since expanded to other areas. So EJ gets to “head” the canning project and I am his hero support. 🙂

Hannah Joy eating berries from the bushes

Saturday was our resting day. When we took Hannah Joy out in the early evening, EJ noticed that some of our raspberries were ripe. We have lots of bushes on our property, although the berries are small and usually the birds get to them before we do. EJ picked a few, eating a couple and giving a couple to me to enjoy. I gave one to Hannah. She really liked it. The next morning when I tied her outside, I spied her eating the berries from the bushes she could reach.

I had searched the Internet this summer trying to find u-pick farms to visit. I found a cherry orchard last month, and we had a lot of fun picking 22+ pounds of sweet cherries. I found a blueberry farm only in the last week or two. We intended to visit it this Sunday but we ran into a snafu.

Traverse City has a lot of festivals throughout the year: a chocolate festival, a film festival, the National Cherry Festival, and several others. This Sunday, it held its first-ever Ironman race, in which participants swam in Grand Traverse Bay, and then biked and ran through the city. In total, it was a 70+ mile course. It sounds like it was a fun day and a resounding success.

We usually stay away from the festivals because there are so many thousands of people and so much traffic! The Ironman race was especially “peoply.” Streets were closed off along the race route and, as expected, traffic was a snarl. At least one church even canceled Sunday services because of the expected traffic. I was hoping that we could just avoid the area, but when I checked the race route Sunday morning, I discovered that the route was very close to the u-pick farm we wanted to visit. I messaged the farm to ask if they knew of an alternate route, but I think they weren’t even aware that the race was going to be so close. After I messaged them, they decided to close their business for the day at noon.

I searched on-line for other u-pick farms. The ones I found were either also in the race area, or they didn’t have blueberries, or they were closed on Sunday. I found one not far in the opposite direction. We hopped in the car with Hannah Joy and drove there. The very friendly young man said that they had gotten out of the u-pick business a few years ago. I think they now are mostly a roadside bakery with farm-fresh fruit for sale. We had a really nice chat with him before driving home.

Even though we were unsuccessful in finding a u-pick farm, we enjoyed the drive through miles of beautiful orchards so we didn’t consider the day a waste. It’s getting late in the season so I didn’t know if we’d be able to pick berries this year. However, the first u-pick farm messaged me back: “We have a variety just coming on…so should have some next weekend.” So visiting the farm will be our project next weekend.

The raccoon returned to the feeder last night. It was quite bold, continuing to eat even when we moved around inside the house. When Hannah finally noticed it, she rushed the window and knocked out the screen. I grabbed her and shut the window. When she had calmed down, I opened the window and retrieved the screen. I don’t think it’s damaged. Silly dog. The raccoon ran off when Hannah barked, but a short time later it was back.

Blurry photo of the raccoon

I tried to get a photo of the raccoon, but despite fiddling with the settings, the best I could do is a blurry photo. My current camera sucks. It’s the worst camera I’ve ever owned. EJ says we will get me a new camera when we get extra money–but until then I have to struggle with this one. I’d also like to someday get a trail camera with night-time capabilities so I can see what animals are coming onto our property. But again, that’s in the future.

 

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