Friday the 13th — oooh, aah

So it’s Friday the 13th — big deal!

Well, it is kind of a big deal, because it is my friend Heather’s birthday today!  Yay, Heather!

We went for a most excellent walk this morning.  Started out on our usual trip through the Gibbons river valley trail, but decided to head a different direction.  And were we ever glad we did!  We stumbled across a mother lode of wild strawberries.

My they are the tastiest, sweetest little bites of heaven.

We didn’t actually get much walking in, instead we grazed our way along the path.  With joyful cries of “Oh my God!  Just look at how many are here!”  we’d stoop or drop to our knees and pick until we had a good palm’s full of little red gems.  Then we’d look at one another, count 1-2-3 and pop the whole handful into our mouths.  Then we’d smile and make yumming sounds.

If you have never tasted a wild strawberry then you are missing out on one of this world’s most enjoyable, most life-enhancing experiences.  They have a taste that is so intense, so sweet, so pure, so joyful that it is impossible to describe.  But, I’ll try.

Imagine a fresh picked strawberry from your garden or from some one else’s garden.  Not a store-bought strawberry that has had its soul stripped away and then spent countless hours in the dark, refrigerated interior of some transport truck.  No, it has to be a strawberry that is on the vine, bedded in straw and kissed daily by sunshine.  Imagine the lovely colour and the way your mouth waters in anticipation of biting into that plump, sweet jewel. Imagine closing your eyes and savouring the intensity of the flavour as your tongue is flooded with bright, sweet berry juice.  Imagine the smile of pure pleasure that transforms your face for that brief moment, and then imagine your greedy desire for more.

Okay, so take that and multiply it about a thousand-fold and maybe, just maybe, that will come close to the experience of eating a wild strawberry.  From the moment we popped that first tiny red berry into our salivating maws we were in a frenzy to find more.  Gleeful, we were, on our hands and knees gently plucking the tiny bits of goodness from their diminutive plants.  “How many you got?  Got enough?  Here take a few of mine.”  Then we’d toss them into our mouths and stand there like a couple of kids grinning as we chewed and savoured and swallowed.

We marvelled at our good fortune this morning and I told Heather it was the perfect birthday present.  We reminisced about past days of wild-berry picking and how we’d bring them home to our children for a special little treat to add to their breakfast.  Then we got thinking about in the ‘olden’ days when people would go out and pick pails full of these tiny little beauties to make jam.  And not just one jar, but enough to last through a winter.  Enough to remind them through a long, cold prairie winter that there was hope for days of sunshine and green and berries and smiles.

I can’t imagine picking enough of the little suckers to accomplish that, simply because I’d eat them all.  I’d probably have been one of those kids that got the switch when I got home with an empty pail.  But, I probably wouldn’t have minded all that much because the taste of wild strawberry is worth that much.

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10 Comments

  1. Heather Edwards said,

    July 13, 2012 at 10:07 am

    So glad that you are a writer my friend and can always put what we experience into the perfect words! Love you.

    • klrs09 said,

      July 13, 2012 at 12:22 pm

      Happy Birthday! Glad we had the moment to share.

  2. grandmalin said,

    July 13, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Off the vine and warmed by the sun – you’re right – best taste ever. 🙂

  3. July 13, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    I adore wild strawberries, Kathy. Happy birthday, Heather!

  4. Barb Black said,

    July 14, 2012 at 7:06 am

    A wonderful story. I am reading this on a lazy Saturday morning while drinking from one of Heather’s coffee mugs. My favorite mugs! Happy Birthday Heather!
    I love strawberries and had a bumper crop this year from my garden. They weren’t as tasty as your wild ones but they were pretty good.
    Enjoy your weekend!

  5. WordsFallFromMyEyes said,

    July 14, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Stooping to collect those little red gems – what a gorgeous picture. It sounds so simply joyful :). I have never tasted a wild strawberry, no, and think what a wonderland this world must be to birds, swooping in and plucking such delights off the earth. You described the experience of a wild strawberry mouth wateringly well. Oh, SO juicy…

    You & Heather sound like you have the best of times 🙂

  6. wightrabbit said,

    July 15, 2012 at 1:58 am

    What a bonus to stumble across such an abundant source of these succulent wild fruit – your description has my mouth watering, Kathy 🙂

  7. July 18, 2012 at 1:54 am

    the last two weekends i rode out to the leslie street spit and picked wild strawberries . i initially forgot to bring a decent sized container, since i was there mostly for the ride and to take photographs, so i ate everything i picked, which was no penalty at all. this past sunday i took two large yoghurt containers (750 grams, about 3.5 cups) and filled them, along with stuffing my face. here are a few strawberries on the stem.


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