Photography And Half-Thoughts By Mitchell Hegman

...because some of it is pretty and some of it is not.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

At Final Elevation

As huckleberry season draws near the end, those of us seeking them (insert my name here) must climb to higher elevations.  Berries at lower elevations simply peter out.  Often, you must also venture into vastly more rugged country to fill your bucket.  The other day, I read an article about huckleberries where a guy—
That girl thinks I am overly-obsessed with huckleberries.  She thinks I should write about the woodpecker that electrocuted (I mean smoked) itself atop the power pole feeding wires into Kevin’s house.  The bird knocked out his power.
That girl may have a point about my obsession.  For about a month every summer, I am all about huckleberries.  I seek them.  I pick them.  I talk about them.  I read about them.  Well…please consider this paragraph as both my admission and apology to that girl that I am mildly to maniacally obsessed with huckleberries.
So—getting back to my topic—I read about this guy from northwestern Montana who is also crazy about huckleberries.  He chases the berries to higher and higher ground as the season goes on.  By the end of the season, he engages in what he calls “one-handed picking.”  One-handed picking is where you climb up into berry patches thriving in such steep and remote places you must hang onto something with on hand and pick with the other.
My friend Arnold and I did just that the other day; we went one-handed picking.  We breast-stroked through tall brush.  We clambered up and down ridiculously steep inclines.  We flopped ourselves over fallen trees and crawled in and out of holes.  Each of us took a nasty dive down a steep gradient but came up intact.
And we got some berries along the way.  Thus ended one more season.
Thank you, huckleberry gods!
I have posted a couple photographs of Arnold that I captured with my smarter-than-me-phone.

--Mitchell Hegman