I think today was the final blackberry session of the season. Last week, there was more than enough for all, even with a greedy labradoodle. Today, there were more pink and ungiving fruits than luscious black ones. Many looked delicious on the side that faced the sun but on the shadow side they were unripe. And the best picks have retreated beyond arms' reach, deep in the copses, available only to the birds.
I picked madly, but couldn't keep up with Nell's demands for more as she waddled behind me, mouth open and chirping like an insatiable baby bird. In the end she was most content on my hip, pointing out the particular berries she wanted. (I had a vision of the future and she was standing in an Italian market telling the stall holder 'Not that one, that one, that one at the back'.) Last year Lu was crazy for the fruit but this year she'll only accept the most perfect 'blackberry dazzlers' - the rest are licked, rejected as too furry/ spiky/ pink/ yuk and passed on to her sister. For Lu, the cemetary is now more delightful for the possibility of adventure to be found underneath the oak trees or through the head high grass.
The last blackberries and now a long wait over the year. But not so long as I thought - how is it that February has already passed and autumn visits us in th mornings now?