Monday, August 13, 2012

Fruit Of My Labour

I had an excellent bike ride after work today. I was riding along, lost in my own little world, when I noticed a large bush of blackberries on the side of the trail. SCORE! So I stopped and picked a bunch, stuffed my cheeks to my satisfaction and went on my merry way once again. Then it happened. I got stuck with blackberry vision.

My family is fairly obsessed with huckleberries, which is a delicious little berry related to the blueberry that grows in mid-alpine regions. When you grown up always looking forward to huckleberry season, looking for plants just becomes second nature and you can spot a bush a mile away. You get a sort of tunnel vision in which you don't see anything but huckleberry bushes. Well this happened to me today, but with blackberry bushes.

My big bowl of deliciousness! Yum yum yum!
I have been riding the trails for 3 summers now and have never once seen a blackberry bush along the trail. It's not that they weren't there...I just wasn't seeing them because I was never looking for them. But the trees and bushes at this one area  of the trail are growing well into the path so riders have to swerve around them to avoid getting a branch in the eye. Today I swerved around a branch only to notice it was loaded with large ripe blackberries. After that, my blackberry tunnel vision was ignited and there was nothing else I could see from that moment on.

About 12 kms into my ride I couldn't handle it anymore because there were bushes everywhere! Luckily I had a plastic bag tied to the frame of my bike (that's another story as to why it was there) so I stopped and just started picking. The ants, flies, mosquitoes and thorns should have been enough to deter me from my task but no, blackberries are a hot commodity around here and my hunting and gathering instincts were taking over. Plus every tiny seed particle flying off of the plant was sticking to the sweat on my arms and chest, so by the time I was done, I was covered in black dots. I ran into Chris's dad on the ride back and he even commented on them...damn. I was hoping to be a bit more inconspicuous in my picking obsession.

Thorns and mosquito bites couldn't keep me down!
At what point do you think that we lost our desire/need to hunt and gather? Have we become just that lazy in today's modern world? In some parts of the trail, there were houses just a few hundred yards from the overloaded bushes, yet I would bet a good part of my paycheck that no one in those houses walks out to pick any berries. Why would they go out and pick them for free when they could buy them at the grocery store for $4.99 per pint? If I lived there I'd post signs all along the trail saying that the berries are overloaded with unwashable pesticides and not safe to  eat. Then pick them all and keep them all for me!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome blog, now where is this blackberry patch?? You really have a way with words, I enjoy reading all your posts!