He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetation for the service of man, that he may bring forth food from the earth. These all wait for You, that You may give them their food in due season. Psalm 104:14, 27

A nice perk of the mountains where I live is the occasional discovery of various foods to munch on whilst hiking about. Late summer and early fall yield a lot of different kinds of berries, many of which are safe – and quite tasty – to eat.

Once when I was with our old yellow lab, Moon, we came across a rather large patch of these huckleberries. It was obvious to me that Moon had never seen huckleberries before, so I picked a few and placed them in my hand for him to try. Then I showed him where they were on the bushes. That was all the guidance he ever needed.

After that day I’d sometimes look around to find Moon with his head buried in a huckleberry bush that I’d inadvertently walked past. He sort of pooched his lips out and gently pulled the berries off the bush. It was quite an entertaining sight to see.

Moon ended up showing me far more berries than I ever showed him. He could have the low ones and I’d take the high. I’ve noticed huckleberries give off a rather unique aroma, and no doubt Moondog could hone in on that from a long distance away. We’d often eat so many berries on our hikes that both our tongues were temporarily stained dark purple.

I’ve since duplicated the trick with Stardog. She too has shown me many berries that I would have otherwise missed, and she too gobbles them up until her tongue changes color.

My wonderful hiking companions and I weren’t the only critters who liked huckleberries. More than once I’ve walked into berry patches only to have a bear explode out the other side. If that doesn’t get your attention, I doubt anything will.

I think I’ve read somewhere that to be frightened once in a while is good for you – sort of cleans out the pipes or something. I bet whoever said that has never had a bear jump out of the bushes next to him. I fail to see what good can come of puckering up so tight that everything feels like it gets flipped inside out. I could do without a close-up scare like that for at least another few hundred years down the road.

I’ve heard people have tried to domesticate huckleberries and grow them at home, but to the best of my knowledge, that plan has never succeeded. I reckon God put the berries out there for just the wild animals – and an occasional hiker with his four-legged companion – to live on and enjoy. And I’m grateful.

Hope you have a great day.

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