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It's About Time - July 2013

Blueberry Flower

f you wanted to carve a dugout canoe from a log, is it better to chip out the inside first? Or should you first shape the outside and then scoop out the inside? The answer at the end may surprise you.

The night of July 21 we expect a supermoon as dramatic as June’s was supposed to be. Supermoon is an astrological term. The astronomical term is delicious on the tongue: syzygy at perigee. Perigee means the moon is closest to earth in its elliptical orbit so it looks 15 percent bigger than at apogee. Full moon happens when three celestial objects line up (moon-Earth-sun), called a syzygy. Maybe this month the clouds will not obscure the big moonrise in Eugene!

Berry season is picking up pace, bringing on the tastiest two months of the year. Early strawberries are pretty much over while blueberries approach abundance. The inside of a blueberry flower, cut in half, looks like a vegetable zombie in a robe.

July and August are the months for a sequence of cane berries of subtle shape and taste varieties. Time to get pie making skills sharp for delivering marionberry, boysenberry, olallieberry or raspberry pie. Not forgetting plentiful and free blackberries, both native and exotic.

Northwest Natives carved the sinuous lines of a canoe hull from a solid cedar log. They drilled small holes exactly to the depth of desired hull thickness, then plugged the holes with charred pegs. When an adze struck charcoal from the inside, the perfect thickness of the hull was established.