It is that time of the year and there are blueberrie pickers on the Gunflint Trail. While the picking isn’t ideal there are blueberries to be found. There are some blue, quite a few green and even some places where there are bushes but not berries. It doesn’t appear to be a bumper crop of blueberries this year.
What is my theory? I think we had a little too much rain and not enough sunshine at the beginning of the summer. That type of early weather combined with numerous days of hot sunshine and no rain hasn’t helped. Of course the blueberry plants are being covered up by the growing trees and brush around them too. It seems like plants and trees doubled in size from last year to this year.
Now for the common sense. There are blueberries all over the Gunflint Trail and there is no need to pick in close proximity to someone else. The Magnetic Rock hiking trail has blueberries and tons of vehicles park there while across the road on the Kek Trail and Centennial Trail no one picks. It’s ok if you want to share a patch with a friend but strangers shouldn’t invade other people’s space especially if they have a dog along.
Don’t get lost while picking. Pick in an area you are familiar with or stay on a trail or somewhere you can see your vehicle. Avoid the tendency to pick downhill from a road because you won’t be able to see the road through the heavy brush. Be careful what roads you turn in on; some are not very well-mantained. Stay within ear shot of your picking partner and carry a whistle with you as well as water, a hat and bug spray. Only yell or blow your whistle when it’s absolutely necessary so you don’t alarm other pickers in the area. Listening to people shout is not fun when you’re trying to enjoy the peace and quiet of picking.
We appreciate people picking ripe berries with their hands and not some blueberry rake or picker that strips the plant. Try to not step on plants or pull out the whole plant. They are gentle so treat them so.
Enjoy the picking and use common sense.