Friday, September 9, 2011


I love to be outside almost any time of the year. Although it's quite a bit more challenging during some months and seasons than others......right now where I's pretty close to perfect. We typically have long, sunny stretches of days during late summer and early fall. Evening rolls around a little earlier and the sun comes up a bit later. Comfortable nights are followed by cool mornings. Early cups of coffee in the back yard often involve a blanket. Neighborhood kids take advantage of every last minute. Dinner is set on the patio for the last few balmy evenings. Our daily walk is finished near dark.

The crown jewels of this season are wild, late summer blackberries. Right now they are ripe and beautiful and sweet, and I'm not sure I can get enough. I always feel a bit anxious when I know the berries have turned their darkest if they might be gone before I can get to them. And some years they are.

This morning a friend and I met up for a walk on a lake trail carrying bowls and a pitcher to see what we could gather. We came back with enough for a pie or a cobbler, and possibly both. Some to snack on or to top off oatmeal, yogurt or granola for breakfast. I might have to collect a few more in order make the ice cream or sorbet I'm thinking sounds pretty good. 

Mom Nature knows how to make us appreciate what is free for the taking. You don't have to travel far (blackberries grow aggressively in most areas of the Pacific Northwest) but these wild bushes are full of sharp thorns and the fattest, juiciest berries are usually too high and out of reach. You need to be well covered with the right clothing and often be tough and creative. We stuck our arms through a scratchy mess in order to get to many of the low ones, and wished that we had brought along a stick to pull down packed upper branches. My fingers are stained, I have red marks on my hands.......but the result is pure deep-purple bliss.

Wishing you a wonderful late summer weekend!

Warmly, Margaret

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