Years ago, on a trip from Massachusetts to Maine, I stopped at a local convenience store and chatted with the owner about what a beautiful day it was. “It’s the kinda day you want to bottle up and save for February,” he exclaimed.

I’ve thought of that man and his comment many times over the years, but especially during August and Maine blueberry season.

I never really paid attention to blueberries before I lived in Maine, although I did read Robert McCloskey’s “Blueberries for Sal” to my daughters many times when they were young. I don’t remember ever taking them blueberry (or strawberry or any berry, for that matter) picking, though.

A few years ago, a “pick-your-own” blueberry farm re-opened within walking distance of our house in Gorham. It is run by an older gentleman. He sits on the front porch of the oversized shed in a big white wooden rocking chair with a small plastic fan keeping him cool.

His heart issues require him to take it slow. Sometimes he is out in the bushes, picking blueberries for those who don’t want to pick. He quietly maintains the refrigerator full of berries and fresh eggs as well as the shelves with fresh tomatoes, corn, beans and other assorted summer vegetables.

A friend mentioned the farm to me a couple of summers ago, and we met to pick blueberries there one afternoon. I paid my five dollars, got my quart-sized cardboard container and went to pile it full of blueberries while she did the same. We then poured our berries into plastic bags so the cartons could be reused later by other pickers.

This summer I have picked with my 23-year-old daughter, Kristi. We walk over on beautiful summer days when the breeze complements the heat of the sun. We wander through rows of bushes, looking for the ripest blueberries, often the highest and hardest to pick but certainly the fattest and sweetest.

We are quiet while picking but then talk about cooking and baking plans on the way home. I have made blueberry crisps, pies, muffins, coffee cakes and crumbles.

Kristi just made her first blueberry crisp (gluten-free, of course), and she is going to experiment with blueberry syrup for the homemade pancakes she is planning for an upcoming weekend breakfast.

I don’t think I am in danger of turning into a giant blueberry like Violet Beauregarde in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” but I now love all things blueberry. Whether I am picking, eating, recipe searching or baking, the blueberry moments have become an integral part of my Maine summers.

It is mid-August now, and sadly the blueberries are all gone from the bushes – three weeks early, the older gentleman tells me.

It’s time to freeze the images in my mind’s eye as I freeze what I can of the baked goods, so some day in February I can uncork the bottle, taste the blueberries, feel the warm August sun and savor the summer breeze.