Berries just might be the second-best part of a Maine summer (the first-best being, of course, the beach).
Each berry season unfolds into the next: strawberry--raspberry--blueberry--blackberry.
So that you're almost never without berries from the Fourth of July to Labor Day.
E has been scouring our wild raspberry canes for about two weeks, but they give up only scant handfuls at a time.
Luckily, we happen to have neighbors with a gorgeous raspberry field.
And even more luckily, they always go on vacation right at the heart of raspberry season, and call us on their way out of town, "Go pick our raspberries!"
C left a jar of maple syrup on their front porch as a thank-you, which is a good thing, since my strawberry jam was a disaster (I abandoned it mid-boil to read to E and Z and it way over-cooked. And, yes, I know you're not supposed to turn your back on boiling sugar, but what's a mama to do?) so I didn't much feel like making raspberry jam, even to reciprocate.
In the midst of picking, I lay down in the grass nearby for a short nap (C, our slave-driver, was sitting in the middle of the canes and could not see me slacking). I listened to the bees hum and M do Napoleon Dynamite impressions and sing (his latest favorite is Weezer), and watched a yellow spider the size of a pin-head crawl through the jungle of the fine cotton fibers of my shirt sleeve.
We put most of the berries in the freezer for winter enjoyment, and the rest I made into a pie that E claimed to be "the best pie I ever had!" (Though C was somewhat critical of the runny nature of the filling).
While we were picking, I happened to catch a glimpse of this Northern Pearly Eyes resting on the garage window. A very accommodating butterfly, it let me get in up close to take its picture.