This late in the summer, we need to head into the mountains to find ripe berries. That’s why the little dog and I are searching the edge of a mountain meadow for blues. A pair of Stellers’ jays complain about our presence and them move fifty meters away. When they stop squawking, we can hear the chirp-like call of a ptarmigan.
We will never spot the ptarmigan but do find small, but well-endowed caches of blue berries. Most are large and plump with juice. Some are shaped like little balloons. A few are home to worms that will abandon their berries after we dump our harvest into a mixing bowl of salt water.
This is one of my favorite times to cross a mountain meadow. Many of the berry plants display the reds and yellows of autumn. A choice few take on an almost lavender shade. It’s easy to spot the blue berries hanging on plants already in the end game that comes before the fall monsoons.