A Berry Good Time

By Derek Stoner, Education Program Assistant

Japanese Wineberries are a common wild berry found in local woodlands and field edges.  Photo by Derek Stoner.
Japanese Wineberries are a common wild berry found in local woodlands and field edges. Photo by Derek Stoner.
One of my favorite childhood memories is of the outings my family made in pursuit of the fruit of summer: wild berries.  These berry-picking missions led to pails full of sweet wineberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. 
Whether eaten fresh in the field or transformed into a delectable pie, berry picking is a great ritual of summertime.  
A cluster of blueberries, some ripe and some getting ready.  Photo by Derek Stoner.
A cluster of blueberries, some ripe and some getting ready. Photo by Derek Stoner.
July is peak time for a variety of berries, both wild and the garden variety.   This week I visited my favorite blueberry patch in southern Lancaster County.  A planting of highbush blueberries that I’ve visited since my childhood, this hillside is now full of wild berries like wineberries and raspberries. 
A young Orchard Oriole pauses on branch before resuming its raid on a blueberry patch.  Photo by Derek Stoner.
A young Orchard Oriole pauses on branch before resuming its raid on a blueberry patch. Photo by Derek Stoner.

Birds like the appropriately-named Orchard Oriole, American Robins, Cedar Waxwings, and other frugivores visit the berry patches to gorge on the fruit, and in turn they hasten the spread of these fruits across the landscape. 

After all, what person(or bird) can turn down a fresh, ripe berry?
If you’d to be part of the berry picking fun, join the Delaware Nature Society for “Berry Picking Time” next Thursday evening, July 16,  from 5-9pm.  Visit the special Lancaster County berry hotspot, see some neat birds, and savor the flavors of summer! 
Visit www.delawarenaturesociety.org for more information.

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