Ride into the Thicket

Ever get tired of worrying about endless wars, economic decline, and the rise of demagogues in the United States?

Take a trip to Blueberry Park, in Tacoma, WA, where anyone can pick free blueberries.

It was an overcast morning, nice cool weather for picking when I took a bike ride there today. There are a few hundred blueberry bushes -- many the size of trees --, as well as wild blackberry sources nearby, and probably other things I don't know about.

This place is probably as cosmopolitan as Niagara Falls, Canada: I could hear multiple languages, including Russian, German, Spanish, and some others I couldn't make out. Not being much of a conversationalist myself, I stayed pretty much out of people's way and just minded my own business.

That's easy to do when you've got bushes to hide in. I did talk to one stranger briefly, but then we drifted out of sight, and I just enjoyed the company of my own thoughts as I looked for the bluer specimens. A man passed by pushing a baby carriage, and the rider peered out at me curiously.

Sometimes it's hard to see whether a particular berry is really blue until it's too late and I've picked it off the bush. But if I throw it away, Nature is probably going to make use of it somehow anyway.

On the ride back, I noticed on someone's front yard a beautiful bush that had probably benefited from last night's generous rainfall.