Beating the Birds to the Berries

It’s 83 by my thermometer. Since we have been experiencing a heat wave, this is considered the cool of the morning. We’ve skipped two days picking the raspberries, because its been too darn hot and we took a day trip to Milwaukee. However the berries don’t take a day off, they just keep getting ripe. And though we don’t mind sharing with the birds, we would like our share of the bounty as well.

Black Raspberries

Curt is mowing, another task to do before the real heat sets in, so I am on berry picking duty. These blackberries are volunteers from an old patch and the red raspberries from the neighbor’s yard. They are growing in amongst rocks and old stumps so besides sweating in the sun and fending off bitey flies, I’ve got to watch my footing or I’ll fall on my butt.

The volunteers behind the barn

rugged terrain w/ berry basket

And did you know that raspberries have thorns? In order to get to those sweet treats you have to hold up the stems with one hand and reach down and under the leaves to find the best clusters. Meanwhile the neighboring thorns grab your shorts, your sleeves… your skin…ouchee, wa-wa. And with blacks, only pick that ripe one in the center. How do you know if its ripe? It will pop into your hand, no tugging.

Black raspberry cluster

When the sweat trickle down my back threatened to become a river, I took a break, went in the house to cool down a bit, have some water, put some words down so I could write this up later.  By he time I went out Curt was done mowing and climbing on the rock wall behind the main garden, picking the volunteer red raspberries.

In the end, it was all worth it. Enough berries for us, enough to share with friends, and enough left for the birds.Its nice to have more than weeds volunteering to grow in my yard.

The Reds

The Blacks


15 thoughts on “Beating the Birds to the Berries

  1. I love raspberries – the smell and taste – and I’m acquiring a taste for blackberries. I just bought a pint of the latter at a farmer’s market that’s, thankfully, outside of my apartment building every Saturday. Do you have any suggestions for recipes with blackberries? I’m not set up for canning because of space constraints, so I’ve been throwing a few in with the strawberry shortcake dessert I’ve been making recently for the family.

      • Sorry – I misread because I guess I have blackberries on the brain! But thanks so much for the recipe! I’ve never done any baking with rhubarb either. This will be fun to try.

  2. I never met a berry I didn’t like, Jeanne…our red raspberries just started a couple of days ago…not sure if we’ll have any blacks this year (not looking promising). We get just enough raspberries to pick and eat right away. The blueberries should start ripening in the next week or so. I’ll be heading to my secret blackberry patch in Saint John in late August.


  3. What a bounty! I noticed a few little tiny raspberries back by our mulberry tree, but yours look wonderful. Nice of you to share with the birds!

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