Death By Poisonous Berries

So what does a girl do when she nearly dies from berry poisoning?? Why go home and eat a personal sized chocolate cake and watch a few episodes of I Love Lucy, of course! 
Wait, wait, wait. Back up. You did what??

Almost died from berry poisoning?? Did I not warn you people about being careful when foraging for food in the wild?? Oh. Teehee. That was me who didn’t listen.

Back to the classroom, everyone!

Rule #1 when foraging for food in the wild: Under no circumstances shall you eat a food until you are 100% sure it is safe and edible.

Okay. Seriously. In my defense, I thought I was eating a very safe and edible berry. 

Here’s how it went down. I was going for a last minute blueberry pickin’ when I look down and see these bright red berries. “Oh boy!” my little brain says, “Those lingonberries sure sprouted up fast!” And down my hand goes, plucks those berries up and shoves them into my mouth. 

(What a pig.)

*Spit, cough, gag*

Dude. Those don’t taste like lingonberries.

So what do I do? I pick a few more, smell them, squish them, and delicately taste them again. Cuz I’m smart like that. Hmm. Yea, definitely not a lingonberry. But how?? That’s a lingonberry bush….

Oh I see. Those red berries grew in-between the lingonberry bush. Crap girl. You really should look closer next time. Oh well. I’m sure I’ll be fine.

And I proceed to pick my blueberries.

Go home, google my bright red berries and find…nothing. At least not about that particular berry. But I did figure out that there is, from what I’ve found, only one red poisonous berry in Alaska, and the one I ate wasn’t that one. Whew!

Sure am thankful for that, since the Baneberry can cause cardiac arrest. Well shoot.

The next day I went blueberry picking again and this time I took pictures and observed very closely my offender. And all of a sudden it hit me…those leaves were totally familiar!! They turned color, and weren’t flat on the ground anymore, but I knew those leaves! 

Come to find out, these lovely little flowers are called Dwarf Dogwood aka Bunchberry. And they are edible, people!

Oh happy day! Another berry to forage for. 🙂

Moral of the story: Dude. Use your head when you forage for food and don’t just shove stuff in your mouth like you’ve never been fed. There are poisonous plants out there!

There could be a second moral…

…listen to your wise husband who tells you to be careful when foraging for food. (Cuz he doesn’t really want you to die a terrible death from a cardiac arrest all from a silly poisonous berry.) 

Seriously. I think he has a deep fear that, oh I don’t know, I will do something dumb like shove random berries in my mouth.

Actually, his exact words when he came home 2 days later were, “Well, that was bound to happen sometime!” 

In order to protect myself from people who might take any information I have written out of context or use it in any way I do not intend…I must say the following: I am NOT a doctor. I take no responsibility for what you do or not do with any information I have written. My opinions and writings should not take the place of a  doctor…consult one of those if you need medical advice. Pretty much…please use common sense and I strongly suggest you do your own research as well. It’s empowering!



  1. You take after your father in the ability to make your stories extremely fun to read/listen to. 🙂 Very glad that it wasn't a poisonous berry — and that is one wise husband you have there, lol. Thanks for sharing!


  2. Ya know, I think you are totally right! Now why don't you get out there and discover one for me. It would be like having a star named after me…but a berry named spike is sooo much better. 😉


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