© 2010 Aaron Atkinson


I have three blackberry bushes on the west wall of my house. They are three years old and they grow relentlessly. In season one I harvested seven berries. Year two, about 30. This summer the ticking time bomb has finally exploded. There are more than 300 red berries growing and ripening in these hot, wet July days.

One by one, almost overnight, the hard, red berries turn juicy and black. I  race against birds and bugs to eat the fruit. Too early and they are still puckeringly sour. Too late and they disappear.

If I come across a soft, fully intact berry as I’m picking I’ll give it a quick brush with my finger and then pop it into my mouth on the spot. The dark purple fruit tastes the best just seconds from the vine when it’s still warm from the sun.

Laura: I can’t believe you eat those without washing them.

Aaron: Why’s that?

Laura: You just said bugs are eating some of them. What if they are still on the berry when you eat it?

Aaron: I don’t mind.

Laura: That’s gross. You don’t mind eating a bug?

Aaron: Bug eats berry. I eat bug. It’s karma!


  1. Shane
    Posted July 21, 2010 at 4:40 pm | #

    I’m really loving your posts and pictures, Aaron. Great stories!

  2. Ruth Anne Henault
    Posted July 22, 2010 at 12:58 pm | #

    My mouth is watering!!! I’d eat it too, btw….Beautiful – love the new blog Aaron.

  3. chels182
    Posted August 6, 2010 at 9:47 pm | #

    I think I’m with Laura!! =)

  4. Aaron Atkinson
    Posted August 9, 2010 at 5:18 pm | #

    Chels – I think this story swayed Laura. She picked with me the other day and ate more than she put in the bucket! Nice to have you reading… I’m trying to think up a good story about your skunk run in.

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