The Daily Bucket is a place where we can post and exchange our observations about the natural happenings in our neighborhoods. Birds, bugs, blossoms and more - each notation is a record that we can refer to in the future as we try to understand the natural patterns that are unwinding around us.
Seattle. July 20, 2012.
I promised that when we returned from vacation I'd check out the berries in the forest. The boring stuff is that I really overdid the fun while away and ended up at 8am on July 5th in the local emergency room, unable to walk and in excruciating pain. Danged old knee - there are many many miles on it. Luckily, everything has subsided with rest, ice, massive doses of Ibu and physical therapy. I was finally able take a brief walk alone in the woods last Sunday. It took a bit of effort, but on Monday I was able to walk a good ways in the Forest and indeed, the berries didn't disappoint.
Thimbleberries (Rubus parviflorus)
Thimbleberries. Wild raspberries. They were just greening up when we left. On Monday I had to fight off the birds to get my share. Robins. Starlings. Steller's Jays. Even a Song Sparrow fluttering through the brambles an arm's length away. I was rude, shooed him away and took a whole handful. There are many Thimbleberries this year, enough for all of us.
Himalayaberries (Rubus procerus)
Enhydas lutris noted on July 12
that he'd found ripe Himalayaberries in Hayward, CA. We're about 800 miles north of Hayward. Our Himalayaberries are still green. Though not native they've found our locale quite hospitable and have now become our most common blackberry. I curse them most of the year, especially when driving them back from the more neglected corners of the garden. They are the wicked spiky kudzu of the Pacific Northwest, throwing out 20' canes in a season. Over time they can bring aging barns to their knees. The fruit is sweet, sour, too seedy for jam. What you need to do is pull out the juice and mix it with the juice of wild crabapples. The combination makes for ambrosial jelly.
Dewberries (Rubus ursinus)
The Latin translates to Bear Berries. Here we call them Dewberries. I know of a patch on the edge of the Forest. Here, on Monday, I found one small handful of ripe berries. No, I won't tell you where it is. Yes, I will leave half of this year's crop for the local non-bear critters to enjoy. And as I do in the odd years when they grace us with fruit, I stood quietly looking out over the lake at Mount Rainier and ate them - one by one, very slowly. Last year I found the first handful on July 13.
I don't know if they will fruit again next year.
July 20, 2012. Thimbleberries are at the peak of their fruiting season. Dewberries are just beginning to ripen. Himalayaberries are developing, but still green.
Your turn. Where are you and what's happening there? I'll be in and out all day.
ps. I'm using the new dKos image library to host the images here. So far so good.