ANDERSON DAILY PHOTO

July 16, 2008

Preparation is the key

Filed under: Spring & Summer — lessie @ 3:33 am

I was late getting home. It was after 7:30 p.m. Warm and humid, but the blistering sun was gone. A perfect evening to pick blackberries. I couldn’t help but stop to take a picture when I spied this gentleman’s activity. I learned the name of his dog, Duchess, but not his own. Predictable, huh?

He was very nice and willing to answer my silly questions. “I have a taste for [blackberries] so I pick them when I can,” he said. I stepped into a mound of fire ants. When the stinging registered, I sprang up and shook off my shoe. It was then, brushing red insects from my bare, smarting foot, that I noticed his equipment, how prepared he was — for reaching into and through a maze of sharp, nasty briars. When I commented, he nodded his assent. “You have to come prepared to pick blackberries,” he told me.

The essentials? A container with a handle to attach to your belt, so your hands are free. A piece of wood or a long stick to push back the angry, blood-thirsty branches. Boots to protect your feet from snakes, ants, and creepy crawlies. Pruning sheers, to navigate your way into and out of a thick patch of berries. And most important, Duchess to guard your back. 🙂

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