Sunday, July 05, 2015

Anything worth having

That which is worth having in this life requires no less than blood, sweat, and mosquito bites. 
This is what I muse about while picking blackberries amid sharp thorns and swarming mosquitoes. 

Blackberries might be my favorite fruit. There is nothing better on ice cream. Nothing. But trying to obtain them is a challenge. So after helping my husband build our long-anticipated chicken coop, I hoed the garden, then covered myself with a second coat of OFF with deet and braved the edge of the woods. 

First of all, and worst, are the mosquitoes. I believe the exchange rate is one bite per two berries. They literally swarm you, trying to find any little patch that is not protected by toxic chemicals that we willingly spray on our skin because anything is better than not being unable to sleep because of itching mosquito bites. They will bite through your shirt if it is not sprayed. The only spot on me that was without OFF was the tip of my nose, so one mosquito made that her target. I sprayed more OFF (I took the can out there with me) on a paper towel and applied it to my nose tip. So then, realizing that this might be her one and only chance to propagate, she went for my eyeballs. Not kidding. 

After you pick all the ones you can easily reach, there are still those that require a pound or so of flesh to pick because they are in the back. Perhaps blackberries also require blood, because - think about it: First they put their seeds in delicious little fruits, so animals will eat them and spread the seeds around. Then they grow deadly sharp thorns like barbed wire around the treasure, and for what reason? Obviously, blood is somehow needed. 

Finally, blackberries ripen in July, hottest month of the year. Wearing long pants and sleeves might be helpful if it weren't for the fact that it's 86 F. 

So there you have it. Picking blackberries is miserable, and yet I still do it. The taste is amazing.