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Winter Cranberries

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Wild cranberries in the moss

Fascinating to find a surprising amount of wild cranberries on the hill this afternoon while heading out for a walk in the rain. Some areas of moss were studded with dozens of little red berries, and I ate handfuls of them as I walked. They are much tastier than blaeberries, and they had a sharp, pleasantly acid tang to them which lingered around long after I had crept back to the car and changed out of my soaking clothes. A greyhen had lain up near this cornucopia of moorland fruit, and it wasn’t hard to see what why she had been hanging around this area of the moor.

Cranberries are oddly distributed on the hill, and some patches are very thick and easily found. When they flower, they plants glow a pretty pink colour, but the berries are very erratic and sometimes can’t be found despite extensive searching. It is odd that the only times I have found berries have been in the depths of darkest winter, and I wonder why the sheep don’t eat more of them than they do. They are certainly well favoured by grouse, and during some recent research I discovered that they are also a favourite food of curlews.

 

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