The passage of our Deep Cove summers is marked by the wild berry seasons. We're at the tail end of salmonberries and getting into huckleberries. Then August brings blackberries.

The good thing about walking through the woods these days is that the kids are completely preoccupied by the berries. The potentially frustrating thing is that what is a twelve-minute adult walk to the village, and should be a half-hour walk with children, can stretch out to an hour or two.

So I try to surrender any semblance of a schedule, and enjoy the peace of the forest. I'll admit it's sometimes spoiled by Saskia and Leif shouting, "Hey! This is my salmonberry bush! I got here first! Find your own!" (I actually witnessed similar behaviour among adults at Krause Berry Farms.) And if I'm shouldering Ariana in the pack, she yells for berries and I have to position myself so her little fingers can pluck them off the bush. Still, working our way through the woods while the kids hunt and gather berries is idyllic.

All these berries grow in our own yard, but it's so wild Saskia needs to wear a red coat and carry a whistle when she ventures down there.

To humour the kids, I've made salmonberry pancakes, muffins and milkshakes. The berries are bland and full of pips, but the kids proclaim them absolutely delicious.