Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Wild Blackberries

Since late Spring I've been monitoring a patch of wild blackberries. Watching the berries change from light pink to barn red to deep purple.

Yesterday I revisited this patch and came away with nearly three quarts of fresh berries, which are actually small clumps of drupelets. These are blackberries not raspberries, although they are collectively known as brambles and belong to the Rose family. Like all "roses," blackberries have thorns that are particularly sharp. Along with the berries I left with many scratches. Blackberry canes or stems are also very stout. One must be prepared to venture into a blackberry patch.

A catbird called from the other side of the blackberry patch. A chipmunk squeaked from somewhere deep in the berry bushes. Cedar waxwings lingered nearby. There were plenty of berries for us all. Like a good fishing hole though, I am not sharing the location of this patch. This is a secret between me and the animals.

I am letting the cat out of the bag in one sense. My sister is arriving for a short visit, along with my two young nieces and brother-in-law. This is going to be a surprise: blackberries for breakfast with homemade granola and a blackberry pie for dessert. Maybe they won't see this blog post.

If only my parents were here too. Blackberry pie may be one of my father's favorite foods. I do believe this is the first time that I have made a blackberry pie. The test is in the tasting. The berries continue to ripen in my secret wild patch, beckoning me back for more fruits and more scratches.

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