Island Geology 101
Or, where on Nantucket are all the blueberries, Peter?
For the last 10 days I've been picking blueberries in the Smooth Hummocks area owned by the Nantucket Islands Land Bank and other entities.
When I first discovered my "secret" spot, I was, well, secretive about it because I didn't want it be overrun with people before I got enough blueberries to make a good amount of jam and pies. Anybody who picks Nantucket blueberries, low and highbush, wild grapes, beach plums, huckleberries, rose hips and blackberries knows how precious a good cache of their favorite wild island fruit can be, especially because we tend to have good and bad years for all of them. So, I kept my spot to myself for a spell and gleaned what I needed. Selfish I know, but over the last week, I've discovered that my so-called secret spot is much, much, much more extensive than I had previously realized. So, since I'm now picking for muffins and blueberry bread, and since there's at least another week or more of this year's amazing wild crop of low bush blueberries — high bush blueberries are just getting going right now — I'll say it again...Smooth Hummocks is where they are!
I've been telling people on Facebook that this is where they are after they see my posts with bulging gallon freezer bags of these delicious berries, but no one seems to know where I'm talking about. I am astounded at people's lack of island geographical knowledge after I've put out two books detailing the lay of the land for everyone. If you haven't been there, get to the Nantucket Land Bank's web site and check out their interactive map. C'mon people, know your island, learn her geography and then you can always have your own secret spots!
While I'm not going to draw you a map for getting there, I'll say that there's a dirt road heading toward the ocean on the right before the Miacomet Golf Club parking area and driving range that you'll want to take. This is Smooth Hummocks. Drive down past or park in the Land Bank's parking area that'll be in on your left (east) and then get out and explore the land off of the roads leading to the ocean. Go take a look on the west side of the radio tower. Take a good look around. They're everywhere.
If you want more than the nickel tour, sign up for the Smooth Hummocks hike with Nantucket Walkabout this Saturday morning and get the full monty on how this part of Nantucket formed, and learn the significance of the sandplain grasslands, prescribed fire and short-earred owls.
There, I let the kitty out of the burlap. No more hints from this point forward!
Get out there and pick!