176Days #190 Himalayan Blackberry Blossom
This gorgeous blossom with its delicate tissue paper thin petal, hint of pale pink color surrounded by pale mint green buds flourishes every year on vines that grow up to twenty feet a year. The Himalayan Blackberry is a non native specie in Oregon and is considered a noxious plant and is to be destroyed. However this tenacious plant has other ideas.
Even though it’s not supposed to be here, and left unchecked it would engulf the state, it produces the sweetest most fragrant blackberries ever. The berries are large, sweet, juicy and have a short shelf life after picking. The berries are delicious on ice cream, as a cobbler, in a pie, blended into a smoothie or turned into jam. On a warm August day you can smell them in the air. Birds, deer, bear and other wildlife love the berries as much as I do. Which is a lot.
A person has to truly love the berries because it is a tricky duel with the plant to get it to release its beautiful, shiny, black fruit. First there will be a blazing sun beating down on you and blinding you with every move. The weather has to be hot for the berries to ripen and develop their sweet deliciousness. The berries grow on long canes, criss-crossing dozens of other 12 to 20 foot canes. They all have huge thorns and the fruiting stems also have the dozens of thorns. The best ones are always just out of reach, but trying to push aside the canes to get to them most often leaves me tangled in the thorns with the thorns impaling every piece of clothing and skin that came near.
My Grandmother taught me the virtues of blackberries. She was both frugal and in love with them and she was a great baker. She’d hand me a pail in the morning and send me out to the pasture to pick as she began to assemble the ingredients for a pie crust. She had taught me how to pick them and how to get untangled, and most of all how to not get entrapped in the first place. She’d also remind me to watch the cattle, be careful climbing through the barbed wire and “mind the electric fence and don’t leave any gate open.”
I digress, I was going to give you the life cycle and how they provide food in the summer, safety and security in the winter for the small animals like rabbits because it dies down to a dry brown thorny tangle of brambles in the late fall. Grows back in the spring and in June begins to bloom. This year will be a bumper crop from the looks of this plant. If you look closely under the petal at 3 o’clock, you can see the tiny pale green hairs which become big thorns.
We, Sweet Hubs and I had a busy and productive weekend. The weather was gorgeous. The only downside is we both worked too hard getting the weekend chores plus some items on our ToDo List taken care of. So if work is fun, then we had a very, very fun weekend.