Maybe it's because most woman's magazines seem to feature mouth-watering blackberry pies and treats on the covers of their June/July issues. Or perhaps it's the simple fact that nature has a hand in it. After all, they do ripen to perfection right before the Holiday!!!
At any rate, I've spent the last two weeks diligently searching for and harvesting the blackberry. I've become obsessed with finding them. Every day I have donned my jeans and long sleeve shirt and headed out for....the thrill of the hunt.
I make my rounds....down the barn lane, out to the woods edge, finally ending up along the roadside in front of the house.
Even though I know where most of the blackberry bushes are, its not an easy harvest by any means. They are wild blackberries hidden amongst LOTS of weeds, scrub brush, poison ivy, Boysenberry bush and wild Primrose thorns. As if that's not enough, there are bugs, mosquitoes and other things that slither in the weeds. One morning in particular, it seemed as if even the red-winged blackbirds were upset with me for picking their harvest. Every berry I picked was followed by an angry sounding peep from the bird as if to say, "I'm watching you and counting how much or our bounty you are taking!" But I try not to think about those things and instead, focus on the challenge of finding the biggest and sweetest berries!
My hands have suffered the most with scratches from stickers and thorns. Not to mention the juice left on my fingers after picking. It eventually washes away!
I have been rewarded at the end of each hunt with a nice batch of berries, easily collecting 4 cups of fruit per trip.
The berries are now at the end of producing and today, July 4th, my daily hunt yielded only 1/2 cup. Most likely, today's outing will be the last of the season, but not to fear, I have picked enough to have made 4 pies and managed to freeze enough for 4 more pies.
Oh sure, I have no doubt that the urge to make my rounds will overcome sensibility and I may go out and collect a few more berries over the next few days. There are still a few bushes producing just enough to probably top off a bowl of ice cream!
Stay tuned for my next blog to see my yummy blackberry pies!!