Monday, 6 October 2014

The Blackberry Hound

Bumbling across the fields and down the lane, basket in hand in the still warm afternoons of early October has been such a joy. I find myself mooching along with a smile on my face, utterly content.  I feel I would have been very happy to have been born a hunter-gatherer, I like gathering and I'm bizarrely accurate with a bow and arrow, which is odd because I've never had any archery lessons and can hardly throw a ball into a swimming pool I'm such a bad shot.  I digress.

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!

Daisy has always liked the odd blackberry, she used to wait for us to pick them for her and would delicately snuffle them from our proffered hands.  This year she has been too busy with her head in the hedge herself to worry about us picking them for her, although if there are a good crop but all high up then she will allow us to offer her some.  Mostly she clearly finds the service too slow!

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.


  1. your world is so beautiful, thank you for sharing it with us.

  2. Thank you, I feel incredibly lucky to live here.

  3. hello suzi :)
    me and Evangeline (the boyfriend's child) did blackberry painting this year... favourite fruits of the season!