Signal Hill seen from the South Side Hills - St. John's

Signal Hill seen from the South Side Hills – St. John’s

Today, in my trivial but persistent pursuit of the ever elusive Blackberry, I explored the South Side Hills in St. John’s.

As I was climbing the many steps at the start of Deadmans Bay Path, a large cruise ship passed through the Narrows, exhausting me with its nauseating diesel fumes. On top of the first hill, I left the main path in favour of smaller trails towards the harbour. Pretty soon I was up to my knees in berries, not black but blueberries, in fact I hadn’t seen this many blueberries before, ever. They were absolutely everywhere, pretty plump and juicy too, Blueberry Hills would have been a more appropriate name for these hills.

Even the tiniest bush has big fat juicy blueberries - South Side Hills

Even the tiniest bush has big fat juicy blueberries – South Side Hills

Once I had my fill I headed for a better viewpoint on the harbour, there were many good spots so I just kept on walking to higher ground. When the clouds opened up for a few minutes, the sun brightened up the city and the visiting ships. In the photo below, check out the little ship to the left, it’s getting a kiss from the bigger one. Next week (if all goes as planned) 2 even bigger ship will arrive, each measuring almost the combined length of the Spirit of Oceanus and the AIDAluna, the 2 ships shown here:

Cruise ships in the harbour - St. John's

Cruise ships in the harbour – St. John’s

After this I decided to take a different route back, doing some cross country, following the many moose trails. It amazes me every time I see where the moose are able to go, they seem so ungainly and clumsy but they must be extremely agile and athletic to go where I know they go. A tracker I met on the trail the other day told me moose have no trouble jumping over a two meter fence, he had seen them do it without even so much as a running start, sometimes from some pretty crazy angles.

After all my bumbling around in the bushes, trudging through bogs and tuckamore, even scaling some pretty steep cliffs, I finally had something to show for it other than moose tracks:

Blackberries - South Side Hills

Blackberries – South Side Hills

At long last, Blackberries! I found a few bushes, some laden with ripe fruit, which were absolutely delicious. The ones in this picture aren’t ripe yet, they have to be blacker than the black one you see here, they are at their best when they come off the bush with the gentlest of pulls.