huckleberries and red willow

by underswansea

rce_7017Keeping watch.

A wonderful clear morning. It has warmed up to a balmy -10°c. It feels nice after the -20 and 30 we’ve had.

Willow and I thought it was only fitting to go for a walk down the river. The river is one of Willow’s favourite spots, lots of smell and tracks. She is named for the red willow that grows on the banks beside the river.

rce_6965Willow forgot her snowshoes.

Willow tested the ice and even waded the creek from snow bank to snow bank. She is a crazy little dog, but seemed to love it! She even brought in a stick and implored, through a series of barks, for me to throw it. I refused, -10 is still a little cold for swimming.

rce_6994Testing the thin ice.

She hopped through the snow. We were both delighted to be below a blue sky.

rce_6998“Come on in the water’s fine!”

This afternoon I took a few pounds of huckleberries out of the freezer to make Huckleberry Grand Marnier Preserves. The huckleberries were plentiful last summer and Lisa and I froze several gallons.

It is nice to have them at this time of year. The smell and taste takes you right back to the warm mountain. I could almost feel the sun on my back!

_lme3054Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn and caldron bubble.

They are absolutely delicious . . . and good for you! When Cooper was here, over Christmas, he had a couple days he wasn’t feeling good. I mashed up some frozen berries for him and he loved them. His hands and face were purple. Before long he was back to normal.

I exclaimed, to all who would listen, the huckleberries had cured him! However, his mom and grandma didn’t share my enthusiasm. It seems, while feeding himself, Cooper got some of the deep purple juice on his brand new Christmas pyjamas! A small price to pay for a cure, I said cheerfully, but only received stern looks.

The sun is close to going down. Willow is hanging on to the last of the sun beam. It’s clear as a bell. The moon will be bright tonight.