The forests and fields in northern Michigan demonstrate the abundant creativity in nature, designed by God. There are trees—pine and deciduous—ferns, wildflowers and berries. My sister and I spent a week in the Upper Peninsula.
We hiked. We picked apples and berries. Thimbleberries are abundant in the Keweenaw (the peak of the Upper Peninsula that touches Lake Superior). The bushes grow along embankments and creek beds. They grow in the forest where there is fallen and rotting wood. They flower in June.
In August they have bright red berries.
The berries make a good jam. Picking the berries is more of a challenge than making the jam. First you have to know where there is a good patch of berries. Then you have to meet the challenge of climbing down embankments, keeping your balance on branches that give way under your feet.
My Mom and Dad introduced me to the adventure of thimbleberry picking. My children and I picked the berries with them. At the time we were fortunate to find a stretch of old railroad to walk along as we picked. That site is now fenced off and unavailable.
When we arrived home with cups of thimbleberries we sat at the table and cleaned the berries and made jam. A summer family activity.
As I picked berries this summer, memories of those other summers came to mind. My sister and I had a good week.