I have been stalking the woods behind Target for about a month now. By stalking I don't mean walking through them and discovering the land; I mean watching, spying, creeping up on, etc. I noticed last fall that the pine forest behind our local Target has an understory of blueberry bushes. Like, the whole forest floor is blueberry bushes. So I have been mostly patiently waiting to see if they would fruit, (they did!) and now I am waiting for them to ripen. I have missed quite a few seasons of wild edibles since I started learning. Many plants have a really short season, so it doesn't take much to just miss it completely. During the winter, when you're curled up with a field guide, cross referencing that with your recipe books on wild edibles (anyone?), you start to get exited about this new thing you will try in about nine months. You see your plant emerge in the spring, maybe flower, or start to get berries, and then someone gets sick, or you go away for a long weekend, and--poof--just like that it's over and you have to wait an entire year to try out cattail pickles.
Because I hadn't actually gone into the the woods yet, I could only see the berries on the edge that get a little more sun. They obviously ripen faster, and the bushes under the cover of the trees are behind about a week or so. That's cool, I don't mind waking up at 6am on a Sunday morning.
Can you see the Target Red?I wish I could tell you that my little one was in glory for being in the woods, surrounded by blueberry bushes, the warm morning sun filtering through the trees. I mean, I guess I could tell you that anyway, but it would be a lie. The whole time she was saying things like, "I tired of walking, Mama." Or, "We go home now?" And even, "I tired of standing and sitting and walking, Mama." To which I replied that those are the only things she'll ever do excepting lying down, so she'd better get over it now.
Can you see her? She's that tiny orange speck with the mane of curly hair in the sea of blueberry bushes. Doesn't she look like such a little nature child? Well what you can't hear her saying is, "CAN WE GO HOME NOW, MAMA?!"
She did stop occasionally to eat a blueberry or watch an ant, but on the whole she was pretty cranky. I think next time I will just bring the big girl and see how that goes. We eventually made our way back to the wagon and headed out into the parking lot again.