Saturday, July 26, 2014

Edibles of Nantucket

One of my favorite things about Nantucket is the wealth of edible plants on the island. From late May to early October, there is always something waiting to be spotted and foraged, and it makes every walk with the dogs into a treasure hunt for them and me.

Our first day there, I gathered a mix of blueberries and huckleberries (which very closely resemble blueberries in appearance and flavor) for our breakfast pancakes.

Blueberries and huckleberries (and pancakes!) remained a fixture on our trip -- the dogs pretty quickly learned to recognize when I was going to stop and pick berries, and Pongu would romble over to "help" while Crooky took the opportunity to flomp in the shade and rest for a bit -- but there were many other berries as well.


and raspberries (a new discovery this year; as far as I'm aware, there is only one wild raspberry bush on the island, and Pongu found it for me because HE IS THE BEST):

and blackberries:

I had fun.

There were also other plants that aren't quite ready yet -- the beach roses (although the flowers could be used to make a wonderful ice cream, which we had at Ventuno one night) weren't quite ready yet, and the wild grapes will need another month or so to ripen.

And the dogs, being dogs, found plenty of their own treasures to forage. They found dead seabirds and deer skeletons aplenty. Pongu hunted down a rat skeleton (which he rolled in) and Crooky found a patch of skin and hair left over from a dead bunny (which he gobbled).

Crooky also found an enormous mostly-skeletonized fish head from a false albacore or "little tunny," which he triumphantly dragged up from the surf and paraded around proudly... until I took it away from him, mean person that I am.

On top of that, he proved to be quite the crab hunter.

Poor lil' crabs. They never stood a chance.

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