Horse Island Blues

The blueberries are in their prime right now at the cabin. I picked 30 lbs Sat/Sun and Sara helped me vac pack 19 packs of 4 cups each packages when I got home. My sciatica hurt so much when I started picking this morning I didn’t think I’d get a day in. But I came back to the cabin, popped some ibuprofen, drank some water, and rested for a spell. Then back out for more and then another rest. Finally, it let go and I was good for the rest of the day. It was perfect weather. 60 degrees and although lots of people over for the holiday, I didn’t see a soul.

The blue berries take nearly twice as long to process as the salmon berries. I use a berry rake to pick, so that collects quite a few leaves and green berries that have to be picked out. Plus it leaves lots of stems, but I learned I don’t have to worry about getting all the stems because they soften up and you don’t know they’re there if you are cooking the berries. Then the berries have to go into water to make any worms inside come out. Then it’s taking the berries handful by handful into a colander a from the water to remove any berries or stems and the worms. This part takes nearly as long as the picking. It was 8 hours for 15 lbs today, and I think it’s maybe 5 for salmon berries. In any event, we’ve got lots of berries now in for the  year. There were a pair of wrens hanging around the porch of the cabin where I was processing the berries like they had a nest nearby but I could not find it. Ravens squawking up a storm like they were fighting over some kind of food, too. After the berries were done, I made blueberry pancakes and had a hearty lunch as it was my first meal of the day. The blueberries were nice. Then I packed things up and headed for the boat. I got to the boat about 6 pm and it was tided. Called Sara because I didn’t see my tide book. She said the tide was going out for another hour, so I headed back to the cabin. I ate some leftover cured Yukon chum salmon leftover from John Cox’s dinner. I fried it in some canola oil and salt and it was excellent. Although almost anything you cook at the cabin tastes good.  After puttering around the cabin for an hour, I got back to the boat about 815 and it was dry but the tide flooding. I got on the bow as the tide floated the boat, waiting for it to float. There were oodles of little hermit crab and other crabs that looked like spiders that came out in the blue mussels as the beach turned to ocean. The kids would love that.

The boat finally floated. I idled out, got on step and came around the spit where I was surprised to see some 30 people on the beach for the 4th of July. Never heard them even though I was just on the other side of the spit. Funny.  A great weekend at the cabin.

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