Seeking My Path

To the blackberry patch, that is!

It’s been a busy summer around here – new beds, new grandson, lots of things to plant, water, go visit…So it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that something would wind up being neglected.

That something wound up being my trail through the empty lot next door.

Big deal, right? I mean, I’m not the one walking my dog in the mornings anymore – she much prefers to go on the long walk with her Daddy. And the back part of the trail, where it runs through the maple woods and beside the old apple tree, is being maintained by my neighbor, who rides her horses through.

But, the middle? That’s where the blackberries grow…

So yesterday I took advantage of the sea breeze – can you still call it a ‘breeze’ if it’s blowing 30 mph? – and the slightly cooler temps, and went up to have a look. Long pants, long sleeves, and boots are a requirement for stepping into the woods. My raggedy-old swimsuit just doesn’t cut it up in the briars! I took along a pair of hand pruners and, just in case, a harvest basket.

I expected downed branches. I expected rampant regrowth on the bittersweet vines, honeysuckle, and the blackberries themselves.

I didn’t expect this…

Is this where the path was?

Or was it here?

Ok, I knew it was going to be bad…

I hacked at it with my pruners for a good hour – I’ll spare you the pictures of the blisters.

Bringing gloves would have been smart…

I had to stop when I got to this tree-eating grapevine. I’ve never seen the grapes put on this kind of growth in a single season…It’s a little scary. Come fall, it’s going to smell like an open jar of Welch’s around here.

I’m gonna have to come back with the hedge trimmer to get in there… Maybe we’ll get another ‘cooler’ day soon.

The day wasn’t a total loss. I was able to get up to the old cellar hole, where there’s a small patch of these wine berries. Looks like they’ll be ready in a few days.

 From that vantage-point, I could at least get a look at the blackberries. Still unripe, so I’ve got a little time to cut through.

But, then…

Score!

One. Only one.

Yes. It was tasty…

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12 thoughts on “Seeking My Path

  1. Oh how cool. I loved picking berries as a kid in the woods behind our house and I remember taking Greg, my husband, berry picking after we’d first started dating in Maryland.

    • We never went berry picking as kids – unless you count grabbing handfulls of mullberries off the trees in the creek! Stained our fingers purple for days…

      That could be why I love it so much now.

  2. I love this story!!! The path that went away!!! That blackberry looked SO juicy. The mulberry tree in front of Edison School died in one of our great ice storms. Thanks for a good story today.

    • I think that tree was planted when I was in elementary… I don’t think they live much longer than that anyway…
      The ones I remember eating from grew along the creek, behind a house. If they’re not there anymore, I’ll bet their children are – they re-seed like crazy!

  3. How do you keep rabbits from eating your garden? This is my first year with them, & they ate most of my small garden. I’m going to try again next season, but I want to keep them away so I get more veggies! They even ate the tops of my pepper plant! 😦

    • Hey, Monica – glad to have you here!
      Rabbits are a plauge this year. Sweet Cleo helps keep them at bay, but she can’t be everywhere at once. And she’s a bit rough on seedlings. I finally gave in and fenced around the kitchen garden last summer, when I had to replant nearly everything after the little monsters ate it. Container growing helps, too, if the pots and troughs are tall enough to keep Peter Cottontail and friends out of them. I’ve had great luck with the Earthbox-type this year.
      Good luck with your garden, and come back soon!

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