Sunday, May 11, 2008

Blackberry Winter

The blackberries are starting to bloom again. And conveniently we're getting a nice little cold snap rolling through the area. It's dipping into the mid 40s this evening and low 40s tomorrow, which is a bit chilly for us this time of year. Especially since we've had a few weeks of temps in the 50s and 60s at night already.


This is what my granny always referred to as Blackberry Winter. Every year around the early part of May, the blackberry bushes start to bloom and we get a final bout of chilly weather before the temperatures begin to stay warmer at night. It usually happens after a few weeks of mild weather and the trees have started budding. She'd say it in that matter-of-fact tone that grandparents have when they're passing on ancient wisdom from generations before, and then give a little nod of her head. "It must be Blackberry Winter. It'll get warm and stay warm now."

It meant that the woods around my grandparents' house were soon to transform into a sea of white blossoms for the next few weeks. And then in a few months time, a gaggle of grandkids would be stomping through the trees towards Blackberry Kingdom and Blackberry Palace (our nicknames for the two huge patches of blackberry bushes near their house) to pick bowl after bowl of fresh berries for use in granny's homemade blackberry pies.

It's not foolproof weather prediction, obviously, and I never quite acquired a taste for blackberries or her blackberry pies (although everyone else in the family raved over them). But it did make me like this time of the year. The cold weather and long winter nights are finally over. Things will get warmer now.

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