Mr. Noodle

Mr. Noodle
Mr. Noodle

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lingon berries

More adventure. Can you stand it?

Our friends that were here for the weekend went home on Sunday. Before they left town, they and Dan went to Florencia Bay beach to walk around. While walking the trail that day, Dan noticed some little red berries by the trail. He came home, looked at The Book, and figured they

might be Lingon berries. He suggested we get up early this morning to go berry picking.

I'm not all that cheerful in the morning. I wouldn't say I'm grumpy but I would be a lot happier if I could get up in the morning and the house was already warm, breakfast and coffee made. Then I would be more 'in the mood' for adventuring at this hour.

Grump grump grump. Okay, yes, I was grumpy. And yet I am so interested in harvesting Non Forest Timber Products for preservation later (they're free!) that I agreed to it. Another part of our mission, though not completed, was to see if there was any sea glass on the beach worth scavenging.

See, we had a big storm last night. So big, that while I was working at the fish plant across the bay, the large plastic lid of a fish tote (the lid probably weighing about 20 lbs, 4'x4'x3") was kicked up by the wind and tossed 30 feet in the air before landing on the other side of the tally shack I was in. The lid hit the tally shack on the way with such force that the phone was knocked off the hook and I and the other tally gal shrieked. When I was walking out to sample fish, I had to hold the fish with one (gloved) hand so I could use my other hand to hold my hat on. I had to use muscles to steel myself against the wind so I could walk across the dock to the bathroom! We all expected the power to go out. (note to self: buy storm candles)

These kinds of storms happen all winter here, so the locals are used to it. Something that many locals to after such a storm is go to the beach to see what the ocean threw up last night. Sometimes it will be a crab trap or some other metal rig. Sometimes it will be glass buoys from Japan. Sometimes it will be bumpers from boats who were tossed around at sea. Really you just never know. That's why it's so much fun to go to the beach afterwords to explore. This is the beach at Incinerator Rock, taken this morning. This is the north end of Long Beach, and as I was driving back from teaching the girls this morning, I felt compelled to stop and walk around for a bit.

This last photo is of Dan and the sablefish trap we found after one of the storms last month. It was half buried in sand & surf when we retrieved it, so it took a bit of digging and getting wet to get it out. The thing weighs about 200 pounds so we rolled it back from halfway down Long Beach to the parking lot!

Right, back to the Lingon berries. We never did get to the beach this morning before I had to go - but we did get a good amount of berries. They each have two large seeds in them. They are currently on the stove, having been simmered down. We'll strain out the seeds (for planting later!) and we might get one jar of jam out of them.

An interesting thing about these plants: they seem to just grow out of stalks in the ground with no foliage. The stalks are between eight and 12 inches long. They are almost always near salal or deer ferns and you will only find them in low fertility soil next to water. We might go searching for more in other similar areas.

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