Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Blackberry Picking at Magnuson Park

One of the things I resolved to do before I start grad school at the end of September was to go berry-picking. My friend Anne agreed to be my berry buddy, so we set a date (yesterday) and figured we try out picking at Magnuson Park.

Despite general sogginess, Anne and I persevered and went a-berrying in spite of the weather. As far as large parks go, Magnuson isn't too far away from my usual haunts - 43 or 49 to the U District, and then take the 30 or the 75 to Sand Point Way and the park's entrance. From there we trekked in toward the lakeshore, having heard on the internets that that was the best place to find blackberry bushes.

The internets were right (hurray internets!). We found a bunch of brambles all along the paths near the lake, though not all of them had many ripe berries. I was worried it'd be too late to find many blackberries, but it looks like we're right in the middle of the season. The berries were in all stages of ripeness, including too-dried-up-to-be-edible. The dried up berries kind of weirded me out - aren't birds supposed to eat those before that happens?

Anne and I ended up off-roading and finding a couple of clearings in the middle of some really great blackberry thickets. We were drenched and tired, but we kept feeling compelled to stop and pick because there we just so damned many berries. When we finally left after about 2 or 3 hours of picking, I think we both made off with 2 or 3 pounds of blackberries (1lb/hr, woot). We're totally going back in a couple of days - even with that haul, we're going to need more berries if Anne's going to make wine or I'm going to make jam.

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