|Blackberries coming ripe.|
The first summer, I didn't even realize I had them. I was too busy sweating with scant relief from the portable A.C. that was cooling the whole house. Last summer I found a few, then spent much time online trying to figure out if they were blackberries or black raspberries or what. Once a bit educated, I looked around for more. It was as if a camera lens suddenly came into focus. I picked pint after pint full day after day. I think the high season lasts two or three weeks. I finally quit one morning when I reached over to a good bush full of them, heard a rattling at my feet, looked down and had the image of a timber rattler burned into my head. I retreated right quick, as we say around here, and didn't go back for more after that. Nevertheless I have already learned a few things in my short history as a blackberry picker.
|Blackberry bush blooms.|
|Hmmm, what's this?|
|Spooker likes 'em!|
Also, wear long sleeves and a ball cap. The thorns are sharp and will draw blood, and you will not be able to resist leaning over to get the really big black juicy ones that are always just out of reach. The hard part is getting them into your pail without eating them. Sometimes they look ripe when they're really not quite there. If there's even a little bit of red in the berry, don't pick it. And if it doesn't pull off the vine with just a slight tug, don't pick it. If you get some that are not ripe, they will be tart. Once you've worked a bush over for all the black ones, crouch down. You'd be surprised how many more fat girls are there hiding under the leaves.
|One hour's pickin', about two quarts.|
If you want some blackberries, now is the time to get busy. And I can tell you this, while you're enjoying the morning, palling around with your dog, dodging snakes and thorns and filling your bucket with delicious natural blackberries, you won't be thinking one iota about the sorry state of the rest of the world.