Friday, July 22, 2011

It's the berries

Wild black raspberries.
One past its prime,
two not yet ripe,
three at the peak of ripeness.

We used to go to a local orchard during cherry picking time.
I loved picking cherries for a few hours,
coming home to wash and pit them
(with plenty of help),
packing most in bags for later processing into preserves,
and turning some into cherry crisp or cobbler
for that night's dinner.

But the orchard was sold,
the new owner overwhelmed with upkeep,
and the cherry trees allowed to decline.

Then a couple of years ago my younger sister
offered her land for the family to go wild black raspberry picking.

Part of the land is rented to a farmer,
the rest is habitat for deer (for autumn hunting).

There are a few open areas
where wild black raspberry bushes have flourished.

Outfitted with long pants and long-sleeved shirts
to protect against the thorns,
sprayed with mosquito repellant,
one sister, one brother, and one niece-in-law, and I
spent an hour Tuesday morning in the hot sun, picking berries.

There was birdsong, occasional insect noises,
and once in a while the sound of a passing car
in accompaniment to the sound of the berries
hitting the bottom of our picking buckets.

For dessert that night:
nineteen servings
of wild black raspberry syrup over ice cream.

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