The last weeks of August bring a special time that has always been very close to my heart -- a time when the hills are covered with precious berries that grow in clusters and peep out from behind stalks of dry grass or branches of heather. Blueberry picking has woven it's way into our family traditions, and come late summer, you can always find us hunched over a blueberry patch, fistfuls of berries filling our buckets.
I adore the blueberry afternoons spent under the blazing sun. The familiar kerplunk of berries hitting the bottom of my bucket is a great comfort. I can't help feeling as if I've found buried treasure every time I stumble upon a bush of particularly plump berries - the sensation never gets old. By the time my bucket is halfway full, I'm already brainstorming every blueberry recipe known to man: lemon blueberry pancakes, blueberry muffins, blueberry smoothies, blueberry coffee cake, or simply blueberries sprinkled over vanilla ice cream. The possibilities are endless.
But when we've picked as many berries as we can carry and our fingers are stained purple from a successful blueberry outing, a certain sadness threatens to overwhelm me. Because at the end of the day, the pails of blueberries that rest on our kitchen counter signify the fast approaching end of yet another summer.