Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Blackberry Winter

Why do blackberries get their very own, personalized winter in the South? Because by the time it arrives, we've had enough warm days or weeks to think that summer has arrived and we're all done with winter, and then BAM, 40something degree nights and days in the high 50's arrive. We put our sweaters back on and say things like, "brrrr....it's cold!" And that phenomenon happens to coincide with the blackberries blooming.

I found this on Sherpa Guides, The Natural Georgia Series. It's referring to the terrestrial (land) ecosytems, I added the information in italics, and the bolding.
Recently disturbed areas (i.e. cleared of vegetation) start recovery with a grass stage first dominated by the pioneer species, crabgrass. This is a very short-lived stage of forest recovery or succession. We often see examples of this stage in cleared land that is abandoned and along roadsides where periodic mowing helps to maintain this stage. If left undisturbed, the grass stage progresses to the grass shrub stage dominated by blackberry (Rubus sp.) and broomsedge (Andropogon sp.).
This means that country roadsides are prime real estate for blackberry bushes. Here in Dawsonville and Dahlonega, they're everywhere. The first blooms showed up a week or so ago, and now they're in full, glorious bloom. They're everywhere I look and I can't help but smile. I daresay, come late summer, if I can beat the birds to 'em, I'll be out there, somewhere, picking blackberries.

Till next time,

......Olivia Herrell


Eric W. Trant said...




I love blackberries. Not too many here in Dallas. Smog kills em I guess, but we used to pick the fencelines clean and make cobbler and homemade blackberry ice cream when I was a kid. Heck, we never took food on hikes, the woods were so full of goodies.

Just don't eat the spiders. I did that once. A little guy, but he went down the hole riding the last blackberry he'd ever tend.



- Eric

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Hello, Eric! Is that better?? I started signing on my comments on other sites after reading your post but, shoot, guess I didn't get that I needed to sign here, too. Just thought peeps would get that part. From now on, you'll see my flourish everywhere.

Did you run out to the market to buy blackberries? Think I might.

When we were kids there was a big blackberry patch across the road (it was dirt) from our house and we'd gear up in long pants and shirts and put kerosene or some other gawdawful stuff on our ankles to keep the chiggers out. Which never worked because, invariably, we'd end up on the front steps the next day with Mama picking 'em out of us with a needle. The chiggers, that is...

A.T. Post said...

My grandparents had blackberry bushes growing on the property line between themselves and their neighbor (cattle) rancher up in Grass Valley, California. (BEAUTIFUL area, the gold country.) We used to go out and help Grandma pick 'em and then she'd make them into the most gorgeous preserves and jams on Earth.

Brought back memories, this post did.

Say, if I'm a pioneering sort of guy, does that mean I'll be reborn as crabgrass?

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Postman, you made me laugh out loud. Literally, not just the LOL we type when something is funny. If we're lucky, all us writers will be like crabgrass, that stuff spreads like wildfire! :)

Larry Kollar said...

Heh, good thing I don't have to race you to the blackberry stands now! Actually, I still have a bunch of jelly & jam left from the last two years, so I might just let 'em lie.

Oh, and I don't bother to sign comments… it's done for me at the top of the comment.

Murr Brewster said...

Here in Oregon, blackberries gallop over the landscape. You can always tell a newcomer by the fact that she allows the little blackberry vine in her yard to grow up, dreaming of pies...when all she needs to do is walk just a short ways and wait for them to come to her. They do everything but roll out the crust.

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

FAR, I miss being on Bailey Waters, got to run by there today, though, and grab my mail. Don't forget the fresh blackberries, they're the best!

Murr, the biggest and best blackberries I ever ate were the Marionberries in Oregon. The best pie of my life was a piece of Marionberry at a little diner on the side of the freeway, just inside Oregon on the way down from Seattle.

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