Finding the fruits of summer growing wild when traveling are one of those unexpected delights that make me glad I’m on the road. There are enough blackberries at Shellmound campground on Nickajack Lake to feed all of Marion County, Tennessee for the season. The first flush is coming in now. If you’re determined enough to brave the heat, chiggers, and ticks, the reward is sweet.
Gleaning summer fruits for dessert after supper has been a daily ritual this past week. None made it back to the Tradewind, all were consumed on the spot. I’ve learned that the wild berry flavors will vary from bush to bush ranging from the intensity of a good Cabernet to the light sweetness of berry soda pop.
I never knew that a dog would forage for blackberries, even discerning ripe fruit from green. Lulu gorged on nearly as many as I. How she avoided pickering her mouth on the thorns I do not understand. Mother Nature had a way of sharply letting me know if I was getting too greedy. Maybe Mother Nature has different rules for dogs.
And why are the biggest clumps of the juiciest, most perfectly ripe berries all hidden deepest under the stickery canes? Perhaps it’s another life lesson from Mother Nature.
Before I left today I managed to gather 2 pounds of blackberries without eating most of them. Yes! We’ll be having blackberry cobbler next weekend at Jim and Regina’s DOG (Dutch Oven Gathering).