Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Monday, October 8, 2018

The Cranberry Harvest, Part 1 of 2, Landers Farms, Ellisville, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

There's something endearing about a man who brings his little dog friend along to work with him. It's equally as endearing to see this little pooch race expectantly along the edge of the bog as his human drives the big harvesting machine into the water. He wanted to be close - all the time, his gaze, attention, and focus was only on his human.

I called out to him. He turned but, only for a moment - his gaze returned immediately to his human out in the bog. He was annoyed by me poking the camera at him when I tried to get close - distracting him from his single-minded focus on his human.

I was at the bog to observe this annual harvesting ritual as a guest of the farm owners and the Plymouth Digital Photographers Club who had arranged the outing.

The owners of the farm, "recognizing the public benefits of good stewardship on private forest land, the Massachusetts Forest Stewardship Program (MFSP) supports and encourages private forest landowners' efforts to manage, enjoy, and care for their land using a long-term approach." (Source: Massachusetts Forest Stewardship Program).

For wet harvesting, these machines drive through the flooded bogs shaking the berries loose from the vines. Loose, they float to the surface to be corralled and suctioned up into waiting trucks.

Here's a look at the reels in action that rotate on the front of the machines to dislodge the cranberries from the vines.

The operator throws these orange-tipped stakes into the water to mark a completed row. Unlike mowing the lawn, these operators can't see where they just were so instead, use these stakes as markers.

Wet harvesting is about water management. Flooding the bogs for harvest involves moving large quantities around from bog to bog. Bogs might also be flooded over the winter when the ice will protect the vines beneath the surface from the severe winter cold above.

But now, it's off to the next adjacent bog.

As his human drives into the water, the pooch races back to the bog edge to pace expectantly until he returns. Such devotion. No wonder humans like dogs so much.........

Check back for Part 2 in a few days.

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