Friday, November 17, 2017

Photos: Picking Blackberries

One of the major perks in living out in countryside the middle of nowhere: blackberries! Every year from about the middle of August into October they grow in vast numbers on hedgerows all around here. I spent a fair bit of time picking them as a kid, but it's only since I got into this whole gardening thing that I've gotten back to it, stockpiling them in the freezer for pies, jam, ice cream and more. I grabbed my camera to take along with me, out into the wilderness, the last couple of times I went picking them and, of course, never got around to posting any of the pictures I took. But hey, let's take a look now:

Oh, you thought I was kidding about the wilderness part? No, this is for real the middle of nowhere.

Quite a dramatic sky, even if it is a bit spoiled by the phone lines. Hey, people out in the country need to watch E3 cringe compilations too. I assume.

So I only brought this little container for my first time out in 2014, which would have been hardly worth my while. I came back to a different spot a couple of weeks later with two huge bucket to do things right. That lot actually lasted me right up until last year...

... where I found myself replenishing my supplies, on a much more blustery day in the middle of this semi-flooded cattle path.

Very much a wellies-only job.

The intel I had was that there were an abundance of berries in this spot though, and there were, but not nearly as many ripe ones as I was hoping for.

There were a few honeysuckle flowers still dotted around here and there though - a plant I've tried to grow at home from cuttings a bunch of times now, but to no avail - which sucks, because they smell great.

In the end it took me nearly three hours to scavenge a nice haul of ripe berries here, slowing working my way up towards the end of the path here...

... which was drier, but not by much. My wellingtons were not in a great state by the time I finished up.

But back in the warmer, more pleasant summer of 2014, things were very much more Hobbiton-looking.

Well, mostly. Slightly less idyllic here though. With the long, dead grass, as well as the fence and deep drain being concealed by it, picking berries proved to be a much more challenging endeavour here.

This was certainly a much rougher area, with big,...

... and plentiful weeds (though this one was quite pretty)...

... and much more marsh-like vegetation.

I suspect this place is kind of a nightmare if the weather's been wet for a while, but thankfully the ground was quite solid after a very hot, dry summer.

Probably not quite so dry at the bottom of that drain though...

Looks like a magical fairy grotto; very much concealing a deep, wet trench.

... and I can't imaging falling through a series of brambles on the way there would have been a terribly enjoyable experience, so after grabbing a good share of the safer to pick berries here, I packed up and headed for home.

Time for some well-earned scones and jam.

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