Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mt Baker Berry Picking

This past week I took a day off work and went up to Mt. Baker with Mom, GG, Uncle Fred and Debbie to pick berries. It was a gorgeous day for it. The berries were small, and somewhat patchy, so we didn't get the volume we were hoping for, but they are so tasty it hardly matters.

The star attraction on these high-alpine berry expeditions are the wild, low-bush wild blueberries that mingle with the heather to form a 6-8" high ground cover in the meadows. These mountain slopes also feature an array of huckleberries, standard (not low bush) blueberries, salmonberrries, and even a few thimbleberries tucked into sheltered creek beds. All of these are tasty, but none compare with the low-bush blueberries.


In case you've ever wondered the difference between Huckleberries and Blueberries, the simplest way to tell is the position of the berries on the plant. Huckleberries (bottom) hold their berries up proudly, above the leaves. Blueberries (top) hide demurely below their leaves. The leaves are also somewhat different; Huckleberry leaves are pointed at the end while blueberries are rounded. Blueberries are also usually blue-er, and huckleberries are generally more purple-black, but color is not always a reliable indicator of which is which.

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