Blueberries, Strawberries and The End of Summer

Oh, my, have you seen the calendar? The End of Summer is in sight.  Just a few more weeks of long days, brilliant sunshine and warm nights, then Fall ushers in with shorter days, fading sunlight, cooler nights and its lexicon of seasonal ‘F’ words; football, foliage and frost.

The End of Summer also means the end of one of my decadent pleasures, fresh fruit from local farms, especially
sweet, succulent strawberries and big, bold blueberries.  Sliced or whole, drop a handful of these tasty morsels on a bowl of your favorite breakfast cereal (Cheerios, for me) and it’s paradise for your palate.  Your lips will love you and your taste buds will tingle.  How depressing, knowing the ballet in my mouth is about to ‘go dark’ until next year.  End of Summer, please linger longer.

The sliced banana is a wonderful addition to my cereal concoction, and according to Wikipedia (the Internet), botanically it’s a berry.  By adding a sprinkle of crushed walnuts, my bowl overflows with a cornucopia of colors and textures with the patriotic reds, whites and blues of these three fruits.  But, thanks to the End of Summer’s culpable coalition with the calendar, ‘this too shall pass’, at least for the strawberries and blueberries, but not the banana.

What is it with the surviving banana?  The banana seems to escape the same demise of the red and blue berries.  The banana is always available and the price doesn’t fluctuate.  An ‘expert’ proffered that bananas are a fast growing tree so the supply is plentiful and constant.  Bananas are a healthy fruit, too, they just don’t measure up on the juicy and sweet scale, as do the others.

I’ve given up picking my own, but every season I recall the times my dad took my sister and me into the mosquito infested brush where wild blueberries thrived. We ate more than we bucketed, but had plenty for a pie, or two.  My wife and I often took our kids strawberry picking in the hot sun of local fields where we competed with bees for the biggest berries we could find. What lasting memories these ‘pickin’ times made.

At this moment, the bountiful strawberries and blueberries are disappearing from grocers’ shelves and I find it fruitless to complain.  After all, it is a natural change, as the seasons dictate the bounty of the produce we enjoy.  Besides, the End of Summer will reward our patience with the start of the apple season.  And a good apple will push the strawberries and blueberries to the farthest corner of my mind.

For now, I’ll turn to the iron filled shriveled raisin and its lookalike cousin, the craisin, for my cereal topping. And I must make time to travel south into New York’s wine country along the Finger Lakes to enjoy a unique local treat, grape pie.

End of Summer, after all is said and done, you and Mother Nature are treating us quite nicely.

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Retired in 2013 after 5 years as an elementary school teacher and 40 years as a sales representative to begin anew as a school crossing guard. SMy essays/stories are a way to communicate through the telling of personal experiences. One reader said about my blog stories, "...these are like a cold sip during a marathon run, simple, real life events". Another offered about my blog, “it brings some sense of normalcy not easily found in the modern world.”

13 thoughts on “Blueberries, Strawberries and The End of Summer”

  1. Steve,
    If bana is a berry Botanically, probably they also classify Winter as Summer.
    I agree, summer swells up the fruite tables at the supermarkets and along with berries are the watermellons, cantalopes ——. We enjoy those fruits with our eyes as much as with our palate.
    We are lucky in this zone that there are 4 distinct seasons. So, the coming Fall will artfully navigate us towards coming winter. And I will be sitting with a good book and a glass of wine during those long winter evenings.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Having picked blueberries a few weeks ago, on a farm next to a vineyard near Keuka Lake, we enjoyed your essay. We will enjoy the berries on our cereal during the winter when the snows flying! Needless to say, the Finger Lakes wine will also help us through the winter!?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jim, after seeing fresh apples at the farm market, my thoughts are turning more and more to Fall. It helps that my wife ironed her ‘baking apron’, another sign that summer is closing fast. Thanks for your nice comment.


      1. Oh you better believe it. My dog loves all the fruits I get, and strawberries and blueberries are his fav’s. He even loves veggies like cucumber, sliced broccoli… pretty much a little of everything we eat :). Thanks for your comment also.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes my sister did tell me. But I cannot truly understand how all the treats available in groceries for dogs would be any better than fruits and veggies including grapes. Plus my dog does the cutest dance when i give him a grape. He kind of jumps on it and when it rolls off he jumps back on it only to see it roll off further. Then he stands and growls at it. It is so adorable!

        Liked by 1 person

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