Quickberry, Quackberry, pick me a blackberry! Ah, Jamberry. Best rhyming book ever. Wild blackberry picking was on our top five list of reasons to look forward to returning to Pensacola. We blackberry pancakes almost weekly for more than a year thanks to our windfall here. Fat berries used to sit defenseless in the sun between the tracks and the heat shimmer. That’s been cleared out a bit, which is nice with Baby Stickyfingers along. Easier to walk around, and plenty of berries alongside the tracks and Mikemo Way.
And just like I remembered, we hunched over and pushed through honeysuckle vines and bamboo stalks and came out right along Pensacola Bay. A lone blackberry vine stretched lazily toward the water, its shiny red and ripe black berries enjoying another day in the sand. Until I put them in a baggie and took them home.
Isaac LOVED riding around with dad this weekend, and again with mama today. I was hoping he’d be old enough to eat a bunch of berries, but maybe next year. Last time we came, five years ago, I was eating berries as fast as I could pick them. Chris wouldn’t join me. “Oh come on,” I said. “No, there could be bugs,” Chris said. “No way! Have a berry!” I said. We all know where this is going. Chris split apart the berry I offered him and sure enough. I tried not to think about that this time. Mmmmmm, berries!
I was wading in the brambles in my galoshes, listening to the bees buzzing, seagulls crying, smelling warm blackberry juice, slightly overripe fruit, dry grass and honeysuckle, ignoring the occasional mystery rustle around my ankles. Tooooooooooooooot! A single train blast sounded in the distance. It rumbled by a few minutes later, all screechy and thumping. Chris said Isaac was transfixed. That baby is 100% boy. He already thinks toots of another kind are hilarious.
We came home with two gallons of blackberries and some scratches to prove we earned them. I dream of someday having a blackberry picnic down by the bay.