"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blackberries

Yesterday was blackberry day. My sister had come home with me the night before, so we were up early to go berry picking. We donned our long-sleeved shirts, long pants, boots, gloves and hats and slathered ourselves with bug off liquid in the hopes of deterring the chiggers. Ann got a nice drive-through view of the countryside as we made our way 'over east', as we say, to our farms that are twenty miles east of our home places.
Here is what we discovered:
1. Poison ivy can, and would love to be, a tree, a vine, a bush and omnipresent in fence rows. Actually, we already knew this from past experience. We had baby wipes in the car for washing off afterward.
2. Wild blackberry bushes are very, VERY protective of their luscious fruit. Large hooked thorns on stems and leaves fought us every step of the way, tearing our shirts, grabbing our hats from off our heads, drawing blood on fingers and hands.
We and the bugs were in a fierce battle for the dark, deliciousness that hid beneath leaves and behind arching, rapiered branches. Black wasps, yellow jackets, dragonflies of all sizes, flies, large and small, butterflies and loudly buzzing Japanese Beetles zipped, zoomed and and fluttered around us as we carefully reached for the berries and dropped them into our metal buckets. Nice sound. The critters paid us no mind; we were all there for the food and feeling friendly; quite a nice garden party, if I do say so myself.
Ann and I in our garb.
We discovered that our metal buckets could be used as shield as we pushed our way deeper into the thicket. We pushed the branches aside and hooked them onto their neighbors.
We were over dressed for the July sun and before long were sweating profusely, yet wishing for chaps and leather gauntlets.
We took our treasures home and made it into a rich, dark jelly which was unbelievably scrumdillyishous. Hooray for the bright, tangy fruits of summer!

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