Spilt Black Berries

We have a wonderful wild blackberry patch in the “back 40” of our land and they are at the height of their season! We have had a couple of nice rainshowers recently and they are black and fat and I love them in the winter on my cereal and in my muffins. Right now we put them in salads and other wonderful summer dishes. I grew up on a “Berry Farm” and we often call ourselves a Berry Pickin Family.

But I get ahead of myself since before they can proceed into my bowl of many types I have to pick them. Now these are wild berries; not in neat rows or organized in any way! Plus, they have huge thorns on them that turns picking them into a blood donation. It is also hot and humid and to avoid the need for a blood transfusion we wear long sleeves, heavy jeans, socks over the jean bottoms and hats. So we are talking a lot of sweat, a bit of occasional pain due to a thorn in the hand and some blood loss in order to harvest these wonderful, tasty things! But they are free (I think I saw a sign in a store recently that said $3.99 for a half pint) and they only last for about 2 weeks.

So last night after a long day Deb and I decided after supper to go pick a few and see if we could can them. So we spent about an hour picking and came out of the patch with almost three large coffee cans full. We have strings on the coffee cans (punched holes in the sides of the plastic cans) that we use to hang around our neck or waist so we have two hands to defend ourselves while in the patch.

As we headed back to the house I had two cans and I was holding one with its string hanging down. Grinda, our young Corgi, had spent the time sniffing for rabbits and deer and was running ahead of us very enthused about going towards the house (she gets a treat when we go inside). We took a different turn in the trail and she had to catch us and she went running by me. She accidentally caught the hanging string on her head from my full can and pulled it from my hand. She continued down the trail with a bouncing can of berries being dumped on the ground. Boy was I upset! *@!%* There went all my berries and I yelled but by the time she stopped the can was empty and Grinda looked very confused like what is this thing on my neck!!! We were able to pick some of them up but many were smashed and not recoverable. Ugh!

I did calm down and Deb asked if I could laugh about it. I said not yet and then I went and gave the silly pup a quick scratch and hug and said yes: Now I can!

This morning it does not seem to be nearly as cataclysmic and I can find the humor with the poor dog caught on the string and trying to figure why this can is chasing my hind end but not then! Those were my berries!

PS: My 84 year old father visited us during blackberry season during the last two years and picked many of the berries we froze and ate. He knew where to look for the biggest and best ones too! We missed you this year Dad!byColonel KonTuesday, August 05, 2008Military Life:,,,,,,

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