Friday, August 16, 2013
Coming to the north woods I had two, mostly serious, north woods dreams. I wanted to see a moose, and I wanted to happen upon large areas full of wild blueberries, free, but for a dozen or two mosquito bites, for the picking.
The moose seemed like a long shot. Apparently three quarters of the moose up here have died of global warming. Plus, I don't think the remaining moose are especially keen on wandering up and down the shore of Lake Superior, a rather narrow strip of sort of wilderness between a well traveled two-lane highway and water everywhere. And this is where most of my moose watching time is being spent.
So, not surprisingly, the moose thing did not pan out. As far as I can determine, in six days, the closest I have come to seeing a moose was when, down by the shore one day, both my wife and I spotted a chipmunk. It was cute, sort of, but had no antlers. I did have the odd thought though, hiking along the Superior Hiking Trail today, that a moose was watching me. Whether or not this was of any use to the moose, I cannot say, but it did me no good whatsoever.
As to the blueberries, I believe the answering gods heard my call, but the connection was very bad. The only blueberries I have seen up here were in a grocery store, imported from Michigan or California. However, I have seen fantastic numbers of blue berries. They grow on a ground stalk in the woods, frequently near the trails. The are definitely not edible. Don't try. And they are not the deep blue purple black of blueberries but are instead an arresting, perfect blue. How do I describe a color? Luminous periwinkle maybe? It is one of the loveliest colors I have ever seen in nature. So, mostly O for two, but I'll take what I can get. Plus, I still have about 36 hours left here. A moose could easily wander up to this window I'm sitting at. Many of these wild ferns look like a moose would find them quite edible, and they probably just need some clearing out to reveal the rich blueberry beds below.