Saturday, August 31, 2013

Berry Picking

Last Friday after school Meghan and Andy took me out berry picking. We drove the four wheeler out towards the beach and got out to check to see if there were berries at various spots. At our first stop I got a lesson in shooting the rifle. I only did it once but it was fun! We checked several more spots but most of the tundra is pretty dry so there aren't many berries this year. We finally found a nice, swampy, mushy spot with lots of crow berries (also called blackberries). I don't like the crow berries. They have a bitter taste and leave a wine like after taste. There were some blueberries hidden among the crow berries and those are delicious! We picked for a while and drove to a few more spots. I saw some old salmon berry plants but they are pretty much done. The salmon berries have a red tint and look like salmon eggs, hence the name. There were also some cranberry plants but those berries aren't ready to be picked yet. The bear berries look a lot like the crow berries but grow on a different plant. Meghan said we don't eat them. She isn't sure if they don't taste good or will make you sick. The tundra is tiring to walk through. It's very mushy and deep so you have to take big steps and be careful because some spots are deeper than others but you can't tell until you step in it. I got some very pretty pictures while we were out and I had a lot of fun.
The next morning Meghan invited me over for breakfast. She used the blueberries we picked to make pancakes and they were delicious! Later that night we made jelly with the other berries. We used the crow berries and some salmon berries she already had. We mixed them with other berries and fruits to make different flavors. We mushed them up and then added pectin and sugar. Then we dished them into jars and put them in the freezer to set. I didn't try them yet but they looked delicious.
I have also now officially survived the week two of school! Psych and speech came out to do services. One of my students has his re-evaluation. I didn't realize I needed a form signed so at 8 o'clock at night Andy took me to their house. You're supposed to just walk in but we knocked! The parents were out berry picking so I walked over in the morning and then walked with the boys to school after mom signed. Things are going more smoothly each day at school but I still feel lost with some of the special education things. There are silly things like getting a formed signed I don't know about. It's hard not having another special education teacher here to tell you about little things like that. Overall I'm holding up well. I haven't cried yet so I think I'm doing pretty well!

Here are some pictures from our berry picking adventure, jelly making, and some from our nightly walks. Remember click on the picture to make it bigger. :)

 Salmon berries

 Best friends

 Crow berries took forever to smush
 Play break!

 Treat time!
Mango and salmon berry
 Piper loves finding all the bones here. 
 And puppies...

 Walrus skull

 Salmon drying

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