These Blackberries Have Nothing To Do With Cell Phones!

Dirt Man and I decide to go blackberry picking. I am thinking it is so hot outside. I dress in a sleeveless shirt and shorts. “You might want to rethink what you’re wearing. Remember we’re dealing with briars. You are going to have scratches all over your arms and legs.” I go back and put on jeans, three quarter sleeves, and shoes with socks. I know I am going to be burning up in this heat.

We drive out to where we are going to pick. All of the places we are going to pick are properties owned by the company he works for. The first stop is on the side of the road. The bushes are loaded with berries, and we are picking to our hearts content with cars whizzing by us. I push myself a little into the brush for a better reach. “Oh, I forgot to warn you about snakes. There are probably not any poisonous ones. Maybe some black ones.” What the heck did he just say? I hadn’t thought about snakes. Now, I can’t stop thinking about snakes.

I get into another section and he says, “Oh, yeah, I forgot about ticks and chiggers. Better be careful.” Now, he tells me. I don’t want to be all itchy and bumpy. My skin is starting to crawl.

“Oh, and watch out for fire ants. There’s a whole mess of them over here.” What am I on some kind of insect and reptile safari? I look down and see brown specks all over my arms. But, I am not burning. Oh, it’s just the flowerets from the blackberry bushes.

“If the fire ants get on you, you’ll be coming out of your clothes as quickly as you can rip them off!” Now, I’m not so much worrying about the pain of getting stung by them but the horror of being nude on the side of the road. Not a pretty sight I can assure you! I can just imagine the car pile up on the road as everyone watches this screaming crazy lady throw her clothes all over the place as she is jumping up and down and dancing around.

So, I am not much of a drama person. Heck, I don’t need any drama in my life because I have enough internal drama to make myself go crazy. So, now I am looking everywhere I step. I am looking for snakes, any kind of slithering. Every twig I hear break, I am ready for one to coil around my ankle. The buzzing bees are starting to sound very much like hissing snakes. Then an odor wafts through the air. Dirt Man says it might be a snake. Sometimes snakes will emit a foul odor. Maybe it’s some form of protective instinct, I don’t know. The smell gets stronger. Dirt Man suggests that it is probably a dead animal in the ditch a little farther beyond us. I reply that it’s ok as long as it is not a dead human body. To this he replies that it could be entirely possible as we are near a certain area that is known for a bit more criminal activity. So now, I am not only looking for snakes, ticks, chiggers, and dead animals, but also dead people. Blackberry picking is exhausting my mind. Not to mention that my back is starting to hurt from stooping over to reach them and avoid getting torn up by briars.

Dirt Man pulls out his machete. Yes, my man has a machete with him. He clears the briars, and places a board (the one that had some fire ants on it) farther into the woods, closer to the ditch that might contain something dead. Does he think I’m crazy? I am starting to get itchy. And put a B in front of that word and I am getting a little of that, too. And I see a humongous brown spider. I don’t scream when I see it (I keep all the drama in my head!), but I nearly jump out of my skin when something else brushes across my arm.

So, we move on to the company pit. The blackberry bushes are towering over these metal pallets. I have no idea what these are used for but am thankful that all I have to do it climb them and stand there and pick. No snakes, no chiggers, no ticks, no dead things. Score! But it is in the direct sunlight. Yes, it is hot. I am sweating. I feel something trickle down my crack. Oh, no! Oh, it’s just sweat. See, everyone knows I don’t sweat. I do anything I possibly can to prevent that. You know like no strenuous exercise and staying in the air conditioner or in water if I must be outside.

We decide to move on to the next designation. “Oh, watch out for wasps here!” Is there anything he is forgetting to warn me about? This has a bit of a breeze which is nice, but it is still hot as the dickens. My makeup is melting. Yes, I am wearing makeup because I might see someone I know. Not in the woods, but somewhere else if we stop anywhere when we leave here. I mean you just never know. When the wind blows, I can hear a rustle that almost sounds like a trickling stream. Come to find out it is the quaking aspens. Pretty cool, huh? Dirt Man is getting bit by mosquitoes. I am glad that the mosquitoes are not choosing me to feast on. I am starting to tickle all over. Hmmm, am I infested with ticks and chiggers or am I on the verge of heatstroke? My jeans and shirt are starting to stick to me. Dang, it’s hot! We decide to call it a day. I am happy to say that I did not encounter any snakes and seem to be tick and chigger free.

We reaped close to four gallons of blackberries. My agenda is blackberry cobbler. I wish I knew how to make wine. However, I think with that amount I’d only make a glass, and we’d fight over who gets to drink it.

I take a shower when we get home because I can feel creepy crawly things all over me. Mind you, I can’t see anything, but I feel them. My mind know they are there. See the drama in my head continues. After my shower, we go out again. I still feel like something is moving around and raising the hair on my arms. I look down and see a itty bitty green spider on my arm. A while later, I feel something on my leg. I reach down and find a tick crawling across my skin. Drama? Maybe it’s not all in my head. Excuse me while I go take another shower.

60 thoughts on “These Blackberries Have Nothing To Do With Cell Phones!

  1. Four gallons sounds like a pretty good haul, yes?

    I was getting hot and my skin was crawling with every sentence. I am ok with snakes, but not bugs.

    Sounds like it was worth it though, right? You got blackberries, cobblers, a post, and a good story out of it!

  2. The cobblers look wonderful, sounds like a good day and a good haul of berries.

    I was thinking Man she is in trouble when you said you dressed in shorts and a sleeveless shirt to pick blackberries, glad you changed clothes 🙂 and left the critters in the woods.

    • Jimmy, I might be a country girl, butt I don’t always think things through. Now, hubby after ten years of being a (boy) scout master, he is always prepared!

  3. Here I am craving cobbler and you post a picture of 2! I’ve been wanting cobbler all weekend. I’ll probably have to break down and pay Kroegar for the berries.

  4. I guess wearing a suit of armor to pick would be overkill. We used to have blackberries growing in the woods near us, but unfortunately they cleared the land for new homes. So much for our harvest.

  5. I picked a bowl right at the edge of our yard this afternoon but didn’t feel much more than that. It was all I could take. I feel bad becaue I havent’ been on the golf course in several weeks and I just know all those berries are going to waste. I hate being sick!

    Cobblers look delish though. No berries to take to daddy to make brandy?

  6. Okay, best post ever. I was laughing the whole way through, because this is exactly what I would be acting like – – from the drama in my head to the make up on my face.

    And those photos look absolutely yummy.

  7. I love nature but I hate insects, snakes, rodents and other creepy crawlers. I think you were brave to ‘machete’ your way through the big bad forest. However, it seems you found you pot of gold with the sight of those delicious looking cakes. If I weren’t diabetic I would ask you to send a piece to me ASAP!!! Yummo!!!

  8. Boy he came up with all kinds of critters for you to be careful of. I thought for sure you was going to give up this quest and go home! Glad you didn’t, that cobbler looks DELISH!!

    You had me cracking up thinking of you dancing out of your clothes on the side of the road!!!

  9. We used to feed our dogs garlic powder to prevent them from getting ticks. Hence, as long as you like garlic, you should be pretty safe. Most of the other creepy-crawlies may be kept at bay using a mixture of lavender and lemon (or bergamotte) oil, mixed with some non-smelling body lotion.

    My sister has her very own special recipe, but she won’t share… 😦

    • Thanks for those tips…hubby works outside sometimes and we’ve been looking for womething natural. He usually has to use some sort of chemical spray or he has resorted to the Avon SOS at times, and that stuff stinks.

  10. At first I thought to myself, This is so not worth it. Just go to the grocery store.

    But 4 gallons of blackberries! OK, then the potential drama of all the little creepy things is worth it. Your cobbler looks yummy!

  11. Oh nooooo I would be dreaming about being eaten by creepy crawlies every day for the next ten years. Seriously!! You are a saint to have stayed and not to have threatened him with the machete ;0)

    Not that I would do something so bad!!

  12. Oh, the things my mother used to make with blackberries and blueberries. We children had the pleasure of picking them without adults standing over us breathing down our backs so we were free to eat as many as our stomach could hold, it was just a little down payment ahead of time for our hard work. LOL Your blackberry cobblers is making my mouth water. I bet my mother is smiling down on you from the windows of Heaven right now saying to the angels that Susan sure is a brave lady.

  13. Now I have the creepy crawlies. Ick! I haven’t picked blackberries since I was a kid, mostly because I forgot to water the one we’ve got now. So much for a harvest this year. Maybe we’ll do better with the raspberries. 🙂

  14. I have some Italian boots I can loan you next time! (And the heels are helpful for killing snakes and poking holes in criminals if they bother you.)

    You, Suzicate, are a better woman than me! Out there in nature and all! Ick!

  15. Ewwwwww, I have the heebie jeebies now and I’m inside. I hate nature. I mean, I love it, just not ON me. I killed a black widow on my patio last year, right next to the kid’s sandbox so I’m always on high alert.

    • I have heard that black widows are attracted to the moisture that gathers along the sandbox, and read where it was a good idea to use a screen rather than a solid lid over it so that the lid can breathe.

  16. First word of snakes, bugs, fire ants and I would have sat in the car the rest of the trip! I can’t stand any kind of bugs and I usually sit outside with a can of bug spray!

    At least you got lots of berries!!

  17. Reading about blackberry picking my mouth began to salivate but by the time I got to the fireants I thought, “What’s the point? I’d just go to Publix.” But then I saw the amazing photo at the end and my mouth began to water all over again. Yum! So worth it! (But better you than me!)

  18. OMG, Suzie….what an ADVENTURE!

    I felt like I was actually taking it with you. Just the heat alone would have done me in.

    But, I gotta tell ya….those blackberries look absolutely gorgeous. They almost look like pearls!

    And the cobbler? DIVINE! I can just imagine it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

    YUMMY!!!

    X

  19. 4 gallons…heaven! Those cobblers look beautiful. Every time we go picking – apples, berries – whatever I have to put out of my mind what is crawling around.

  20. Ooooooh – so creepy! Isn’t it typical, though? You think you’re just out for a nice friendly nature stroll and a fun berry-picking day, and it ends up you have to fear everything Mother Nature could throw at you. Yech, I hate bugs, too, and the problem is the moment someone warns you about them, you start to feel creepy crawlies all over you! Even if they’re not there!

  21. I love blackberries – In England they ripen at the very end of summer, late August and early September and we used to go picking down all the lanes as they grow in every hedgerow over there. But then we did not have to contend with overwhelming heat, snakes, ticks, fire ants and more, just the brambles!

    Wonderful story, you wrote it so brilliantly and humorously I was laughing all the way through. I’ve never had cobbler but that looks really good – in England we make something called crumble.

  22. Love the blackberries growing all over the roadside in the South. They’re even worth fire ants…but maybe not chiggers. Ugh. Chiggers. Those disgusting creatures are right up there with roaches and lice.

    Miss seeing the blackberries here in Florida. Your cobbler looks beautiful!

  23. Oh. My. Gosh!

    You are one brave soul. As your hubby warned you about one thing after another, I was *very* impressed that you didn’t cut and run! Me? I would have decided that blackberries from the Farmer’s Market were worth every penny the very second I was warned to look out for snakes…and never mind all the rest!

    Your loot does look lovely though, and you can be proud of every last berry! 🙂
    -C

  24. It’s been a few years since I went blackberry picking. Like your day, it was hot, but the bushes we were picking from grew right at the edge of a wonderfully cold stream, and one really needed to get into the stream to get the best berries. I decided it was an excellent test of the durability of the boots I wore. The brambles scratched through the sleeves of the flannel shirt I wore and kept hooking me, but I was cool! And the berries were delicious!

  25. Ahhh, I’m feeling creepy-crawly just reading this!! But those blackberries were worth it – they’re gorgeous! Can you just pack some up and ship them to me??

  26. you’ve got a good man there..and this is definitely a day that sound way too familiar..I don’t think my Big Guy would have added anything except maybe his usual, “Did you turn the stove off before we left.” He always says this 10 miles away from home so that I can have visions of my entire life burning down while attempting to have fun…By the way that cobbler looks awesome! Next time spray yourself with Listerine…sounds crazy but creepy crawlers and moquitos for some reason hate it..except spiders and for that you need coconut oil…for the snakes a gun would be fine..sorry but this story is a favorite! I really enjoy your tales!

  27. Funny .. it brought back memories of many berry picking trips with my dad … I can add to the hazard list: bears, mice running up pant legs, horrible swarms of horse and deer flies, grabbing a bee.
    I love wild berries and I pick by myself these days … I think I had tucked this list of scary things way back in some well hidden place in my brain … thanks for bringing back the horrors, I will be better prepared this year when I go berry picking.

    Side note: I have been told to collect raspberry leaves and dry them for tea … they are suppose to be very healthy … you might want to go back and get some

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