In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cranberry foraging

We thought there might be wild cranberries in a bog near the eastern channel. So on Sunday we went foraging.
We were thrilled to realize that they grew on the island. Carla Allen says that there are wild cranberries in bogs all over southwest Nova Scotia, just waiting for people to come and harvest them. So maybe this is an ordinary Sunday afternoon activity around here. But it's a first for us.
The bog is actually trembly in a few places. You can stand on a little mossy hummocky island and wiggle it back and forth -- an odd experience.
The bog was luminous with glistening water and light. Red squirrels chattered in the forest nearby, and waves pounded the rocks of Cape Roseway and the entrance to the eastern channel. Those were the only sounds.
The northern pitcher plant grows abundantly here. Its basal leaves are cranberry red.
Its tall stem and flower have dried.
We found cranberries everywhere, a few at a time. We never really came upon an extensive patch. We had to look closely to find them. They seem more purple than red at first, so they don't stand out.
A northern pitcher plant waiting for a fly. There were little flies in the bog, looking for northern pitcher plants to drown themselves in. I'm sure they got together. There were also small grasshoppers and water spiders.
There's something deeply satisfying about looking for wild food.
In a couple of hours of foraging we collected about three and a half pounds of cranberries.

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