Red Velvet Berries

Why are people so noisy? Aki doesn’t answer. Somehow she is twenty meters away, sniffing her way along a hedge of thimbleberry bushes that line the beach. I am close to the water, where the sounds of a small surf blocks out the voices of the other people walking along the Auk Rec beach. 

          Aki shows no sign of joining me at the surf line so I walk at an angle toward a spot she will be in a minute or two. I pick a few thimbleberries while waiting for the little dog. Only the wine-red ones are ripe. To eat one you have to carefully lift the thin berry portion from it’s thimble-shaped seed pod. The berry portion likes like red velvet cake but retains a tart, wild taste. 

        The berry plants cover the old village site. The ones providing me a snack cover a spot where large, ocean going canoes, each hallowed out from a single red cedar log, were beached. Even though the village has been abandoned for over a hundred years, not tree, not even an aggressive alder, grows among the berry plants. 

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