Being in natural environments creates many benefits, both psychological and physiological. We feel better and refreshed when interacting with nature. It is why we build parks, spend time in those parks, hike, camp, and plant shrubs and flowers in our yards. Most of the benefits of this nature/human interaction are intangible and difficult to measure. A few are quite tangible.
The hikes ventured through some of the rocky 30,000 Islands of the Georgian Bay have produced some great tangible benefits – berries. Wild blueberries in this area grow on low plants resembling a ground cover more than a bush. The berries tend to hide under the foliage, making gathering challenging. A bit of patience produced over a quart of blueberries during a hike of an island along the Bad River. Jill’s skills turned these berries into an apple/blueberry pie and delicious blueberry muffins.
The photo of the collected blueberries includes a dime to provide a size reference. The wild blueberries are tiny in comparison to the domestic, cultivated varieties that are in u-pick fields and the grocery stores. Picking these miniscule berries requires extreme patience, dexterity, and time. In the small Georgian Bay community of Point Au Baril, the general store had wild blueberries for sale at $15/quart. The price seemed high until the back-breaking labor of picking a quart was experienced. Now, $15/quart seems a bargain.
An island in Mill Lake on Phillip Edward Island had a field of wild raspberries. The have their own gathering challenges since they have thorns and chose to grow interspersed with thorny, wild roses. Phillip Edward Island had more blueberries. That hike’s results included a blueberry/raspberry pie and an additional dozen muffins.
Communing with Nature – tangible benefits.
Oh. It has been reported that a local animal is also fond of blueberries and roams the islands in search of the same sweet fruit.