Sunday, May 16, 2010

a reconnaissance mission to the east

Tonight, not under the cover of darkness I slipped through a wide-open hole in a fence that has been down for years to check on the great berry patch to the east.  Right now, what I am picking are called dewberries in East Texas. They are different than true blackberry vines--their canes are soft and trail on the ground...not that the prickles are any different.  My oldest always says, when she gets a thorn, "Ow!  The berry picked me back!"

On our property we have tons of these things and the bags of frozen berries are piling up.  Off the road we have several patches where the vines have been growing and producing for years where they will be covered in slightly larger blackberries.  These patches are a little harder to get to and require that I  tromp off through the grass and weeds to get to the patch.  These ripen later than the dew berries, so after I start picking dewberries I have to keep an eye on the them to make sure I don't miss them starting to ripen.

I actually find the easiest way is to check the berry patch growing on the hunting lease next to our property.  This is not something one does during hunting season.  That's a good way to end up with your head stuffed and mounted on some dillweed's wall.  The land is pretty much vacant except near hunting season,  so I figure I'm safe--although I should have pulled out the orange vest I have left over from my FEMA job after hurricane Rita.  The berries are just starting to have a little blush of red so it should be only a few days before bucketloads are ready to be picked.  I know where the patch is because I have had to go take a look to see where our gun-happy neighbors had set up their hunting stands.  A couple were way too close to our house and I asked them to pick a different spot.  They agreed and we try to keep things friendly. Since at certain times of the year we are thirty or forty yards away from each other with hunting rifles, so it is best to keep things civilized.

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