Nearly every year since my kids were in elementary school, I’ve traveled about 20 minutes south of my home to pick blueberries at The Berry Patch. The fat, juicy berries grown there are the best I’ve every tasted, hands down!
This tradition for me–as you might guess–has always included photography. Year after year, first with a film (or instant film) camera, later with digital or just my iPhone, capturing some images became part of the rhythm of these outings.
Nothing much changes, year-to-year, about berry picking. A plastic bucket, tied around my waist with a cheap piece of twine; roaming up and down the rows, tasting berries for sweetness; searching for the bushes laden with the darkest berries.
Though I’ve followed this ritual for years, I’m still drawn to documenting the process, even if it’s just a few quick shots with my phone. It’s my way of noticing details, slowing down, and enjoying the process of just being in this place on a summer morning.
This summer tradition hits all the senses: the quiet voices of early morning pickers calling across the rows; the feel of the gentle breeze; the scent of nearby flowers blooming; seeing the tiny beads of dew on the fat, ripe berries; and the taste of summer in each tangy-sweet bite.
Of course, the best reward at the end of these outings is the satisfaction of weighing the overflowing bucket of berries, and anticipating the ways in which I’ll soon enjoy eating them! For me, savoring the berries topped with Greek yogurt and homemade granola is always a winner. Not to mention all the ways these little gems can enhance almost any baked goods!
Do you have a summer tradition that you repeat without fail each year? And are you a blueberry lover as well? Let me know in the comments what always makes your summer bucket list complete! (And share links to any of your favorite recipes that feature blueberries!)