The Taste of the Northwest


Everything about this place is beautiful enough to eat.  Going out to get the paper this morning I taste salt water in the cool morning air, and I pop a few salal berries into my mouth on the way back up the walk.  Eating salal berries always reminds me of the native people who depended on them before blueberries and raspberries were staples of the Pacific Northwest diet, and although their flavor is subtle, it’s easy to imagine how delicious they must have tasted when they were the sweetest food one could gather.

For the past few weeks the lavender has been full of bees, grooming each petal in their quest to preserve summer’s aromas, and I watch them and think about the honey I won’t be here to taste.  Then in another week or so the annual spider time will begin and the lavender will be spun with webs, waiting to ensnare the delicious lavender-fed bees who fly right into the spiders’ dinner plates.  I won’t be here to see that either, which is okay with me since it’s always a little sad to see the tightly wrapped bees, wings stilled.

But for now I sit in the morning-warmed garden with an iconic cup of coffee, watching the blackberry brambles run rampant, and taste the fir perfume from the trees towering over my bench along with the bracing dark roast.  The bench is right next to a hardy fuschia, which serves as a sort of supermarket for cats, attracting nectar-loving birds.  This morning Beppo brought a small dark bird into the house, and for once I was able to set it free before he got to sample its feathery flavor.  The bird streaked off like a shot, in utter silence, and Beppo growled.

It’s all in the timing, eating and being eaten.  It’s all about eating and flying away.  Five more days.

Explore posts in the same categories: The Road To France

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