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The Colors of Summer – Part One

August 31, 2014

file under red, (as in red, white and blue, of course)

Labor Day Weekend, wedged as it is between the end of August and the start of what we know as “the school year,” begs for reflection on the preceding weeks. Teachers ask for “What I Did On My Summer Vacation” essays, and photos that we were too busy taking to post while traveling creep slowly back onto social media platforms — or if you’re old-school, into photo albums.

With that in mind, and before anxiously checking out September like the last of the yellow jackets, let’s flip the calendar back a page or two and remember mid-summer again:

July’s reds were best captured for me in the wineberries, or wild raspberries, I picked from friends’ property west of town, a lush green, pine and oak covered place where just outside the margins of their grassy lawn, shoulder-high green and prickly red canes reach upward and fall back to the ground in sweeping arches.  Rubus phoenicolasius, an Asian version of the raspberry, was introduced onto the North American continent in the late 19th century. Now considered invasive in Virginia and several neighboring states, these bright berry bushes thrive under the shade of tall leafy trees; the proliferation of canes here allows Camille to pick apron- and bucket-full loads of the tangy berries to cook into pies and more.

For the past few years I have begged to be let in on the action when the seeded, almost crunchy fruits are ready. When John and Jenny let me know mid-July that the berries were in but that “bears had gotten most of them” already, I hurried out to see for myself.

“Most of them” must only apply when you’re used to picking millions.

I found plenty remaining to satisfy my palate and easily filled a Ziploc gallon bag, more than enough for me to mark the season.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 1, 2014 8:58 am

    And they were good, too. I got to taste some.

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