The summer of 2023 has brought a bumper crop of both blueberries and raspberries to the region. Longtime Sudbury blueberry vendor, Arthur Choquette, forecast a good harvest earlier in the season, noting that lots of moisture from a good winter snow cover and plentiful spring rains, plus spring temperatures warmer than the last few years, had gotten things well underway. Luckily, the delicate flowers of the blueberries had already turned to fruit hardy enough to withstand a relatively late May frost, and, of course, the drop in temperature was not as great out in the Georgian Bay islands, given the moderating waters of the lake. We continue to be blessed by moderate temperatures and regular rains.

Some neglected whipper snipping on my island last year led to the delightful discovery this year that raspberries bloom on two-year-old canes. The heady scent of their blossoms and fruit has been filling the air since early June, and veritable clouds of bumblebees have been buzzing busily amongst the bushes. They studiously ignore me as I jockey for space with them, picking fruit, weeding out grasses, and taking copious amounts of video meant to sustain me through the winter months.  Somewhere, there is some lovely raspberry-tinged honey being made.

The theme of bountifulness also extends to our night skies this summer. Because the moon orbits the earth in a slightly elliptical orbit, sometimes it is a little closer to earth and sometimes a little further away.  A supermoon takes place when a full moon occurs near the moon’s closest orbital point to Earth and is larger and brighter in appearance. This summer is seeing the appearance of four back-to-back “supermoons”, in July, August and September. Tuesday evening’s supermoon arose in the east just after the sun set in the west but will still look full when it rises this evening. The supermoon on August 30th can also be called a “blue moon”, as it is the second full moon in a month.

Berries, bees, moons – I hope you are enjoying some of the extra helpings of delight we are so lucky to be encountering this summer of 2023.

A thorough and affectionate treatment of the ecology and charms of the wild blueberry can be found in Sandy McCoy’s PaBIA Naturalist entry in print in the 2021 Yearbook on page 197.