The last of the blackberries have been collected. We have made blackberry wine and bramble jelly, blackberry crumble, blackberry pie, blackberry vodka and my favourite Hedgerow Jelly.
Blackberrying has always been one of those things that I do in a dream, not really paying attention necessarily to each and every blackberry, just happy in the hum of the hedgerow. This year is has been different - firstly there has been competition from unexpected sources!
It seems she has become something of a connoisseur, and it is this part of her blackberrying that has changed mine. She bobs along the hedge, nose delicately sniffing at each blackberry, touching some like a little blessing and pulling others out with her teeth and eating them. These one's were left - even though they were just the right height for her. When I picked them and (of course) tried one, they were bitter. So I started wondering how she can tell.
The best pickings can be found where she stops to blackberry, and of course it's to do with what you can smell. Ripe blackberries smell lusciously and richly of blackberry and unripe or over-ripe one's just don't!
Druid was previously not bothered by fruit of any description but this year Daisy has been so enthusiastic that he's joined in too - just a little bit.
Thank you Blackberry Hound.