Friday, June 28, 2013

The Problem With Wild Strawberries

My daughter and I decided to head up to my grandmother's house on the North Shore of Lake Superior for a while, and I wasn't able to bring her strawberry garden with me.  It's doing quite well right now, having survived the winter (Hooray for container overwintering success!), and we were both pretty excited about it.

Unfortunately, small hatchback cars don't exactly have a great deal of space for packing large planters, on top of everything else, so I had to leave them behind.

I was sad for a little while, but only for a little while.

You see, I had completely forgotten about one really awesome, completely cool aspect to being at my grandmother's house.

She lives "off in the woods".  We're talking about a totally rural environment where you wake up, look out the window, and get to view a herd of deer a few meters away that are happily munching on various plants.  You may spot a wolf.  A bear could even amble past the house.

Totally rural.

Totally awesome.

So what did I forget, you ask?

I forgot that tons upon tons of wild strawberries grow in her yard every year.

See?  I told you it was awesome.

The thing with wild strawberries, though, is that I think they were placed on this earth to tease those of us that love strawberries.  I say this because you never get a huge batch of them.  The majority of the fruit is eaten by birds or bugs... or it's stepped on.  It grows very low to the ground, you see.

They're also very tiny.  

As in, one third the size of the smallest strawberries you buy at the store... if you're lucky.  Itty bitty.  But wild strawberries are also the sweetest strawberries you'll ever get your hands on. 

You can't eat just one.  Once one pops into your mouth, you suddenly find yourself crawling on the ground, scouring the earth with your eyes.

You tell yourself that you'll only do a quick scan of the area.  If you don't find any berries, you'll get up and do something else.

But that doesn't happen.

Instead, you get closer to the ground.  Your nose nearly touches the dirt.  Ants run for their lives as you begin breathing on the trails they've left behind for their colony-mates.


Of ants.

They're going to get your strawberries, those horrible creatures!  They must be eradicated!!!

You panic as you realize that bug spray is not an option.  Spraying those thieves would mean getting chemicals



The strawberries.

That just can't happen.  So you squish every ant that comes anywhere near your precious strawberry patch.

There are a lot of ants.

It then occurs to you that you've spent so much time protecting your tiny patch of strawberry plants that have no berries on them, that the afternoon has gone by, and it's time to go inside.

And all you had was one strawberry.

::commence wailing in agony::

You see what I mean?  Wild strawberries were created merely to tease those of us that love strawberries.

Or, at least, those of us that are overly fond of them.

I think I'll be spending a lot of time scanning the yard for strawberries...

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