Berry picking



“Look, Veronica. It’s a berry.”
We are visiting Yellowstone national park this week. It’s our first family vacation of any duration. 
Taking her to a national park is an important rite of passage. I suppose it is uniquely American; it may be particularly western American. Not sure what the kids on the east coast do.
It’s a way to get connected with the land we live on.
We have yet to see the geysers, which are spectacular and addictive.
What we have seen is wildlife. The tragic and awesome bison impressed is all. I would love to legally aquire s buffalo rug! Deer antelope and elk.
Let us not forget the wild plant life. The tall straight pines were perfect for building teepees, as I had seen. The northern sage lent the air its sweetness.
And I found a berry. A raspberry.
I picked berries every summer as a kid. They grew thick and I couldn’t resist.
In our part of Alaska, most people liked to pick blueberries. They taste like Nothing else, and grow very thick. But they are ripe only a few weeks of the year, and it varies because of the weather. My mother was not good with time management like that, so we always missed it. 
My berry of choice was the high bush Cranberry. It ripened in the fall and was so prevalent it made the whole forest smell sour. 
I did not have to drive to the forest. It was across the street. I loved the tart clear red cranberries.They were too much for almost everyone else, but I could pick quarts of them.
Veronica does not have a forest. Her sub desert chaparral landscape does not include berries.
Alaska has a lot of berries. Most places have a native berry. When I travel, I try to look and see what kind of jams they sell in the grocery store. Very often they’ll have a kind of berry jam I’ve never heard of. And berries are so delicious!
I would like to find a place where my daughter and I could pick berries.