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Monday, June 27, 2011
If you live in the south you know that blackberry winter is when you get cool weather or a“cold snap” in the spring after the blackberries have already started blooming. Sometimes this can be very worrisome because if it gets too cold it will damage the blackberry blossoms. Which will lead to little or no wild blackberries to pick along the road sides and ditches for blackberry cobbler and jam! So Sad:(
This year we had quite the cold winter and it really didn’t seem to want to let go. Sure enough after the blackberries started blooming here the chill came again. Fortunately we had no frost and the blackberries are coming in as good as ever!
On my latest walk I discovered the first dark purple orb hanging among-st all its tight red neighbors. I had to grab it even though I knew it probably wasn't quite ripe. Mmmm despite the bitterness the taste brings back floods of memories from childhood. The bush where I picked the berry has been there for as long as I can remember. I can picture filling tea jugs and bowls with black berries with the help of my dad when I was little. Actually being little can be to your advantage when picking blackberries. You can reach all the ones dangling from the bottoms of the bushes. We would eat tons of them straight off the bush and bring back what wouldn't fit in our tummies to mom to make cobbler.
Even when I was older and could go out berry picking by myself it was still an event I much enjoyed. Finding the perfect berries is hard sometimes though. It seems they are always in the tippy top or buried in a gnarl of thorns and spider webs.
I remember once I was balanced in the center of one of these bushes trying my darndest to reach the “best” one at the very top. You have to imagine this is a bush growing on the side of a VERY steep hill that drops down to our drive way. I think I actually ended up grabbing the berry and probably popped it in my mouth but on my way down I fell clear off the side of this incline and hit hard on the packed clay drive. Gave myself one of the numerous scars I have on my knees:)
Today now married and living just up the drive and across the street I still feel giddy at seeing the bushes lush with
fruit. Now they are really starting to become ripe and just this night I filled my whole water bottle up with blackberries. They will probably last a few days of fresh eating. If the weather cooperates and gives us some rain the rest of the red berries will ripen into dark juicy orbs and we will have enough for a cobbler and maybe even some jam!
So you can see that in the south when blackberry winter arrives we hold our breaths and cross our fingers for it not to get too cold so that come summer we will enjoy the treat of picking blackberries!