Blackberry Bliss

Today Rachel and Byron and I went blackberry picking down along the bushes at the beach at the foot of Macdonald. Rachel is a better blackberry picker than I am, as she managed, like, three times my haul. But that’s not important. No one fell into a tangle of blackberry bushes, so even if I didn’t get so many, it was really worth it.

Worth it for the experience and the company as well as the berries. There’s something meditative about blackberry picking. They ripen so fast, even a day can mean the difference between eye-stinging sour ones and the pure ambrosial bliss of a perfectly ripe one. A day, too, sometimes between ripe and moldy, in our  maritime summers.

When you pick, it is a delicate process. The best berries break from the stems easily, but not too easily. If one comes off too easily, you have to check it for mold, and even if it’s not moldy, it might have that vaguely carroty flavor that changes eating blackberries from wonderful to weird. If you have to pull too hard, leave the berry for someone else. It’s not ready yet. Experience teaches you what the perfect berry feels like, as you pick it.

And being able to chat to Rachel, picking alongside, and Byron, throwing rocks into the ocean, was just perfect as well.  Thanks, guys!

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