This is the part of summer I've waited for all year. It's berry time! Black raspberries that is, black caps. The juicy sweet berries stain my fingertips a deep purple and my thoughts turn to vanilla ice cream and warm pie. A couple of hours in the morning sun will provide me with one of nature's favorite treats.
A flash of brown feathers in the thicket in front of me makes me stop and watch closely. A brown thrasher darts among the brambles and he peeks curiously at me from around the leaves. I got the feeling that there could be a nest nearby so I moved on down the fenceline to another berry patch. The black caps are plentiful so I don't have to reach far for them. If I were thinking of raspberry jam I'd be reaching for every ripe berry I could see. Hmmm! Maybe I'll be back tomorrow morning.
Mid-summer brings the color yellow to the meadows and roadsides. Patches of bright brown-eyed susans and coneflowers. Their sunny faces standout in the tall green grass. A patch of showy yellow goatsbeard compliments the rich orange of some nearby day lillies. A bouquet of fresh cut flowers will greet me at the kitchen table for breakfast.
Back tracking the trail along the fence row with berry bucket in one hand and a bunch of flowers in the other, I head back to the house with my priceless treasures. Just in time for the sun is making the sweat bead on my forehead. The humidity rises from the tall lush grass and adds to the discomfort but the thought of black caps and ice cream will see me home.
A morning picking berries is truly one of the simple and more rewarding pleasures in life. This is one taste of summer that will linger long after the stains on my fingertips are gone.
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