Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Baskets and Berries

Yesterday evening I finished cutting down the scraps from the Cherry quilt.  Today I'll sit in front of the fan and put them together.  A great project for a HOT, HOT, HOT day.  Normally the heat wouldn't bother me that much but I've been Wild Blackberry picking the last few days.  
 Just at the sound of that the country gals out there just got a very sympathetic look on their faces. They know!  The city girls smiled a childish grin and pictured a youthful gal with a big smile skipping along with her bountiful basketful of blackberries.  WRONG!  Wild blackberry picking is anything but fun.  I've tried many techniques.  The early morning technique of dressing in jeans tucked my knee high socks with a long sleeve shirt tucked in the jeans, shirt sleeves tucked in the leather gloves with bug spray dripping from head to toe.  The middle of the afternoon technique when tender bugs don't like the sun, wearing the typical summer attire drenched in bug spray and of course leather gloves.  And then there's the early evening technique that's a combo of both, jeans, t-shirt, and gloves with bug spray.  (Oh I forgot to mention that I always take a garden hoe with me to bring the vines closer and to kill any snakes I might see.  No I've not run into any yet this year in the berries but I did see a large black snake in the wildflower patch that's close to the berries.) With all my preparations I'm still covered with CHIGGER BITES!  Chiggers are tiny little red bugs that feed on humans!  Okay that's exaggerated a bit.  But they are tiny, very hard to see, and the bite itches worse than a mosquito bite especially when you get hot.  To get to the wild Blackberries you must go to the places that these little creatures thrive, in the bush with the snakes, spiders, and tons of thorns.  
So why do we do this?!  Stupidity? Crazy?  Its because we know the Wild Blackberries qualities.  Unlike the hybrid that is  as big as your thumb, the wild berries have a richer flavor although they are twice as small.  The plateful of berries below isn't even enough for a cobbler and that's three pickins.  You see out here in Podunk if you don't pick them as they ripen the critters will beat you to them.  So everyday for about two weeks(of course its always the hottest two weeks of the year) for about 30 minutes a day I'll fight the critters and bugs and maybe if I'm lucky I might get enough this year for homemade blackberry Jam.
Until next time "Quilt out of your Comfort Zone!"
Lea

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3 comments:

  1. I have a black berry plant in my yard and I know the pain of harvesting them. I did it one year after that I just leave them for the birds and groundhogs:)

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  2. LOL...Very apt description. I used to go out and pick them before work. I gave in and planted some brambles this spring. Haven't checked my "spots" yet this year. Guess I should get started. My DIL loves blackberry jam - as do I. I will confess, MOST years, the chiggers don't bother me too much. I seriously believe that is thanks to my Native American grandmothers. They are so worth it! Take a baking soda bath to soothe some of the itches.

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  3. Thanks for the warning, now I know that is one berry I won't be planting in my yard! LOL

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