This time of year was a favourite of mine during my days on Corrour. We’d be waving goodbye and good riddance to the midges, watching the colours transform the landscape and ardently anticipating the first roar of the rutting stags outside the bedroom windows. Every day I would yearn to head outside from dusk to dawn and enjoy the playground that surrounded us, but work left no time for much fun or adventure and so I had to live vicariously through the tales of the customers.
It is no surprise, therefore, that I am trying to make up for lost time these days and staying stuck between four walls is something I can’t often bring myself to do anymore! So needless to say a visit back to Corrour during this glorious time of year has been on the top of my list since landing back in Scotland. Last week my wee sister and I left the bustling streets of Glasgow and headed to the banks of Loch Ossian to soak up the sounds of nature and stain our hands with the treats we foraged for our breakfast the following day.
The woods on Corrour have many a secret mushroom patch, where I’ve found chanterelles like those discussed in my previous post. But what really stole the show on this occasion were the bountiful patches of berries!
Blaeberries are native to Scotland and grow amongst the heather, adding to the perfect purple glow of our hillsides. Much to my delight, due to our altitude, we also found the occasional lingonberry in amongst the heather. These are much less common in Scotland but no less useful!
It was hard to give up picking that evening as night fell over the loch, patch after patch after patch just kept appearing, but we figured we had best leave some for the local resident grouse to munch on too… it’s a staple of their diets too after all (I remember once finding blaeberries in the stomach of a grouse we’d been given by the local stalker).
Standard blueberries from the supermarket are not cheap and who knows where they are grown. Lingonberries are usually associated with Scandinavian countries and not easy to come by. We must make the most of all these little gems that surround us… even the act of collecting them is nourishing to the body and mind.
My Corrour needs and my blaeberry needs have been satisfied for now. I suggest you go and satisfy yours too!