Back when I was a kid............. We have all heard our parents say this, I am no different and I feel the need to share my life growing up. Things I haven't thought about in years come flooding back with only a word or a little trip around the field and seeing what grows in the fence lines.
This is raspberry season. I remember as a kid having to go and pick those beautiful, sweet plump raspberries. I am sure we came home with purple lips and teeth, because you couldn't help but snack while you filled your bucket. There is nothing better in the world than picking a sun warmed fruit and plopping it in your mouth. You can taste the sweetness of the sun in little raspberry.
I favored picking blackberries over raspberries, they were usually bigger and I always thought they were sweeter. Blackberries are later in the season, I'll bet this year they will be especially big and juicy with all the rain we have had. I also learned at an early age the anything this wonderful did not come easy. The blackberry and raspberry bushes had razor sharp thorns. Those thorns would shred your arms and legs, so you had to wear long sleeves and jeans. Then you had the bugs, mosquitoes and spiders and of course it was always hot, humid and sunny, you couldn't pick berries on a rainy day!
My mother always made the best jam and jellies with our gatherings of these summer berries. When winter came, you could almost taste that sunshine again. You forgot the bugs, thorns and heat.
When our kids and I were riding horses together, our favorite thing to do was stop at the mulberry trees and have a snack. It was cool because we were up high enough to reach the sweet fruit that grows on these trees. The horses would impatiently move around the tree while we had our fill and then we'd be off again.
Those berries are ripe now, I see evidence of the fruit in all the bird's poop on the car, on the sidewalk and the stains on my tipi. I know the birds love the sweet fruit as much as we do.
Oh these plants still grow in the wild, those wonderful birds are spreading the seeds from those fruits in the fence rows, in the wooded areas and other wild spaces. You can still find these uncultivated sweet fruits, you must get off the beaten path, climb through unmowed grasses and weeds, on a hot humid sunny day and there will be a thorny patch of juicy sweet berries waiting to be tasted and savored.