It is almost the end of berry-hunting season, and that’s a pity. Berry picking offers an opportunity to enjoy songbirds, osprey and honking Canada geese overhead. Berry hunters out just before sundown may see deer leaping stone walls to spend the night in the depths of the woods.
There are the sounds of nature to enjoy, too — soughing pines and rustling leaves and sometimes the lapping of water on shore or the distant roar of the ocean.
A novice berry hunter may occasionally need a guide who knows the whereabouts of the best patches hiding behind stone walls or in out-of-the-way places. But more often the berry-hunter does the reconnaissance work herself. Sadly, many hunting grounds of the old Vineyard are gone, replaced by spacious summer dwellings. Some of these patches are along the North Shore, above the Lagoon and Lake Tashmoo. Although the berries do not need the view, the people want it.
Blackberries, the last of the berries to be had, protect themselves well — often hiding behind poison ivy or other greenery, their thorns fending off hunters. A few can still be found late in the season.
Now the hunt turns to beach plums and rose hips, grapes and soon wild cranberries, but none is quite so difficult to find as wild berries.