HARVEST

 Foraged berries and flowers.


Then the rains came, pouring down upon us through the flocked branches of the aspens, reaching the ground within seconds. It had been a dry summer, but Autumn was wrought with thunderstorms like this one. We were a-berry-pickin in the mountains - eating just as much as we saved in our containers. The berry bushes had been promising an abundant harvest for some time; briar patches of aggregates: raspberries and blackberries out in full force. Thimbleberries too, nodding above their palm sized leaves. Once your eyes adjust to the task of berry picking, they seem only to see the shapes of leaves and colour red. 

I thought much about the symbolism of the harvest. Karma, you could call it. The concepts of sowing and reaping. It had been on my mind lately, and I found myself wondering what it was exactly that I had been sowing for all these years. 

My gratitude abounds for the gifts of the Earth... The berries given freely in the forest, the apricots from a neighbour's garden, the pea pods and peaches, and the strawberries I thieved on the regular at work. I feel it like an overflowing force within my being, this gratitude for such truthful items of nourishment.


We made one jar of precious jam from the mountain berries...

Raspberries

Thimbleberries

Red currants

Blackcurrants

Strawberries

Rosehips


Maybe it is a kind of medicinal process, to forage for food. In the wild I find what I need: a little nourishment for the body, and for the soul, a connection with my food source, a respect too, a syncing of my body with the seasons. Real food is like a key, unlocking secret doors in my body that I never knew were there, and I am constantly learning.

. . .

I scraped the rough seeds from the rosehips, saved them in a muslin bag, boiled water on the stove, then chose the nicest mug in honor of the occasion. I read a chapter of my book, closed my eyes and took my time drinking the rosehip potion. 
 

 The harvest moon 2016.
 Rose hips foraged from the wild. 
 Foraging for wild blackberries.
 Foraging with Oliver in the mountains of Colorado.
 Foraging for thimbleberries in Colorado.
 Foraging for thimbleberries - bright red berries like flat raspberries.
 Home grown apricots.
 Rose hip tea made from wild rose hips.
 Dandelion leaves - the baby ones are delicious.
 wild strawberries in the mountains of Colorado.

WILD FRUITS

- Henry David Thoreau


I do not think much of strawberries in gardens, nor in market baskets, nor in quart boxes, raised and sold by your excellent hard-fisted neighbor. It is those little natural beds or patches of them on the dry hillsides that interest me most, though I may get but a handful at first—where, however, the fruit sometimes reddens the ground and the otherwise barren soil is all beaded with them, not weeded or watered or manured by a hired gardener. The berries monopolize the lean sward now for a dozen feet together, being the most luxuriant growth it supports, but they soon dry up unless there is a great deal of rain.

You seek the early strawberries on any of the most favorable exposures, as the sides of little knolls or swells, or in and near those little sandy hollows where cows have pawed in past years, when they were first turned out to pasture, settling the question of superiority and which should lead the herd. Sometimes the berries have been dusted by their recent conflicts.

I perceive from time to time in the spring and have long kept a record of it, an indescribably sweet fragrance, which I cannot trace to any particular source. It is, perchance, that sweet scent of the earth of which the ancients speak. Though I have not detected the flower that emits it, this appears to be its fruit. It is natural that the first fruit which the earth bears should emit and be, as it were, a concentration and embodiment of that vernal fragrance with which the air has lately teemed. Strawberries are the manna found, ere long, where that fragrance has been. Are not the juices of each fruit distilled from the air?

This is one of the fruits as remarkable for its fragrance as its flavor, and it is said to have got its Latin name, fraga, from this fact.
 Making jam with wild berries. 
 Jam made from wild berries foraged from the mountains of Colorado.
 Geese flying south for the winter.