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I love this time of year. Yes, it’s hot. Yes, it’s humid. But, there are fresh berries!

Right about now is the ultimate berry season at my house. The strawberries are still producing a little, the blue berries are just starting to ripen, and the wild black raspberries and mulberry tree are in full swing!

Mulberries

Of course it also means it’s the time of year that my arms get all scratched up and it looks like we have a crazy cat. We don’t have any cats (although I would be game to change that if I could convince my other half as well as my current one-and-only fur child- hint, hint). Most of the time I don’t actually realize how many scratches I’ve accumulated until I come inside, or until I get salt or something acidic in the cuts.

Now in case you didn’t know, most raspberry plants actually have lots of thorns all over them. So do blackberries and gooseberries. To protect myself against scratches, I could wear long sleeves and/or gloves when picking the wild raspberries. That would probably be the smart thing to do. But its hot during the summer, and that would take some planning before going picking. Or I could just not pick the wild berries when I see them… Nah, thats not really an option lol. I love raspberries. While there are a number of patches on the property that I do check regularly, I’m also an opportunistic forager. I often pick random wild raspberries for breakfast if I see them when the dog and I go for our morning walk. Most of the raspberry thorns are fairly small, so I often don’t notice right away that I’ve cut myself. More like scratched, than cut. Then I forget I even picked berries until later in the day when I start wondering why the backs of my fingers are stinging… Oh, right. I found berries this morning lol. Totally worth the scratches 😃

Wild black raspberry thorns

I blame my mom for my love of berries. There were always fresh berries at our house when I was growing up. Us kids would help some with the picking, but mom would spend hours outside thoroughly checking the raspberries canes in our yard to make sure we didn’t miss any. And we missed a lot. Mom would always come back in with a huge pile of berries and looking like she had to fight a cat to get them. Apparently I’m just following in her footsteps…

Wild black raspberries

Store bought berries are just not the same as freshly picked ones. If you get the chance I highly recommend looking for wild patches, growing your own, seasonal roadside stands, or those we-grow’m you-pick’m farms. Fresh berries are just so much sweeter and richer in flavor.

Strawberry patch

Funny note – my dog will also pick raspberries. Or at least try to 😆 She’s not always good at discerning the ripe ones from the unripe, but she does try. The weird thing is she’s not interested in the strawberries, and usually not in the blueberries, or the mulberries I toss to her, just the raspberries. She really likes the raspberries! I actually frequently have to shoo her off a patch I’m picking so she doesn’t gobble them all up. Don’t worry – I do end up sharing some with her after I finish picking – and they’re all ripe unlike many she picks.

Sunday zeroing in on some raspberries to munch on

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Written by an entomologist for the enjoyment of all... The goal is to post 1 or 2 new stories every week, so stay tuned!