Monday, August 09, 2010

saskatoons and raspberries

saskatoons and raspberries, originally uploaded by Sophie_vf.
I was complaining to Liz, a fellow Flickr-er who lives in my area, that we almost never get any saskatoons and what little the bushes produce, the birds eat. This is the first year I have ever seen them in any abundance - I think partly due to the rain, partly due to a large hawk that has taken up residence in our green strip. I haven't seen the usual numbers of small birds that are resident here, normally clustering around our feeder, then moving on to the bushes.

Saskatoons are quite small at the best of times, but they're larger than usual this year, and actually look kind of juicy.


Because we're not used to looking for berries on this bush, there are quite a few that have started to dry out before we even noticed they were there. This is the beauty of these berries, for wildlife anyway - they dry out right on the bush, and stay there - they don't fall off and rot. So they're available for birds through the winter (assuming they haven't been consumed yet) and I imagine this must also have been useful for the First Nations people in this area as well.

for the birds

They're small and a bit fussy to pick, and I'm not really planning on doing a lot with them - some people make jam, syrup or wine - but they're nice to snack on. Maybe they need to sit on a dollop of whipped cream, though.


Heather said...

Those saskatoons and raspberries look delicious!

We used to pick wild saskatoons and make jelly out of them, but we didn't this year, mainly because we are living in a different place with few of the bushes growing on our property. The dry weather we have had has also made the berries less juicy. We did, however, pick wild chokecherries and pin cherries and make jelly out of them.

I love picking wild berries - they are offered so freely, do not need to be watered or cultivated, and the only effort you need to put in is the effort of picking (and eating) them.

Lianne Raymond said...

mmmm- memories of long days picking saskatoons for my grandma's pie. You really need to try a pie, Sophie. :)

Kimberly said...

How are saskatoons different from blueberries? They look the same.

Sophie_vf said...

they do look the same, but they're actually not even closely related: saskatoons are actually in the same plant family as apples, pears and roses, and blueberries are in the heather family. But they do produce a similar looking and similar (sort of) tasting berry, which is much smaller, thicker-skinned, less juicy, and seedier. Great arguments abound as to which is tastier, and there is often an east/west divide. I am pretty sure that they don't grow in eastern NA - it's generally westerners and northerners who are both familiar and fond of them :)

Kimberly said...

That's very interesting. Thanks!