Many of us have heard that saying in our lives and most of the time it’s just a just a kind gesture that we make when someone steps in to give a helping had. It’s that revolving wheel of love that makes good people even greater in the eyes of others. That was the case on Friday, as I came to the rescue of my wife as her schedule morphed into something unexpected and required me to jump in and fill one of those parent obligations. These seem to pop up like toast in the toaster each morning.
After the trails meeting Saturday I had about an hour before lunch, which was just the right amount of time to go berry picking. I really enjoy picking berries not only because I like eating the pies and syrups that come from them, but also my love to just be outside enjoying nature. This Saturday black berry pie was on my mind and the weather was just perfect for it. I figured that maybe I could cash on an “I owe you” and have my wife bake me one of those mouth-watering pies she’s known for.
Blackberries however have one added challenge that one must not take lightly before encountering: thorns. I’m talking the kind that will make you look like you wrestled with a mountain lion that hasn’t eaten in weeks. Many times the true extent of the damage is not realized right away when the body is filled with adrenaline and visions of pie sitting next to a scoop of ice cream. However when you hit the shower that night you’ll know that you were in a battle. The amazing thing about blackberries is the entire plant from head to toe is full of thorns.
The funny thing is that I keep coming back for more. I’m like an addict hooked on their black magic and can’t escape their spell. Sometimes it takes a day or two of healing before I return. The only sad part of this story is there is a new type of fruit fly that has been found in Wisconsin from afar that has also found its way to Burnett County. These fruit flies are a serious threat to many types of berries and have almost ruined my raspberry crop.
So lets hope for the best on that front, and if you’re hooked on this black magic then I urge you to get out in the next week. Picking is good right now but I believe it will peak in the next week and then go downhill. Blackberries like disturbance such as logging that allow light into the forest and usually start to thrive 3-5 years after such an event. Many of our trails provide these kinds of conditions. Always keep a eye out for poison ivy as you hunt for you prize as it too can be found in many of the same places. I hope you get a chance to experience some natural magic and remember that long sleeve shirt before you wrestle with the same wild cat that seems to get the best of me each time I hit the patch.