Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Harvey Mountain Blueberries - Part 2

I was hiking up Harvey Mountain with four of my dogs and hoping to find the mountaintop covered with ripe Lowbush Blueberries. The trail was a seldom used service road and quite pleasant. I endeavor to keep the dogs slightly ahead of me so that I can keep an eye on them, but not so far that I can't quickly call them back if necessary. They were doing pretty well - except for baby Clover, that is, who was again exhibiting her stubborn, independent streak. But in this photo, all is going well:

Clover and Daphne, both Papillon puppies, are buddies and like to do as much as possible together. They are incredibly active and athletic. Papillons, I've read, were originally bred to be toy Spaniels, but I've come to think of them as toy Border Collies because of their intelligence, high energy and need to have a job to do. Well, on this day their job was hiking and exploring. They considered it great fun:

Fergus can almost keep up with the two Papillon puppies, but he also understands the need to do as he's told and keep close enough to me. When he forgets, though, he immediately comes when called and we're balanced once again. In this picture, he's exploring an old stone wall, an activity he seemed to enjoy more than once on this hike:

It was a very hot, sunny day and we tended to slow down as we hiked upward. You can almost see Seamus' feet dragging in this picture:

And then I began to see Blackberries all along the trail:

Most of them weren't ripe yet, but I found enough which were ripe to make me happy:

And mixed in were Red Raspberries. They were a real treat. Wild berries heated by the summer sun and eaten out of hand with the birds singing overhead and the aroma of mosses and pines in the air, are among life's greatest pleasures. What version of heaven could compete?:

And then I heard splashing. Seamus was hot and tired, and had found a small brook just off the trail but screened by foliage so that I hadn't noticed it. It had a high population of Wood Frogs which scrambled out of the way when the dogs came down to cool off. You may notice that by this time, Clover was dragging her leash. That's because she was still running too far ahead and not coming when called:

All the dogs got a drink and enjoyed the cooling effects of the shaded brook. The two Papillon puppies were fascinated by the Wood Frogs:

Back on the trail once again, the woods opened up somewhat and we got more sunshine. This made it hotter, but also kept the Steeplebush, Spirea tomentosa, blooming beautifully. But we hadn't yet reached the summit, so I'll post more tomorrow:

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