An Afternoon Forage

An Afternoon Forage - ripe blackberry
An Afternoon Forage

Wednesday (yes posing a little late) we decided on a large breakfast at the local pub, and then to head out for an afternoon forage around the river, it was meant to be a morning one, but time got away from us.

An Afternoon Forage

It feels early to me, but the local brambles are covered in rich ripe berries already, in fact as shocking as it seems, many have already ripened to such a stage that they are beginning to become moldy on the bushes. With that in mind we headed out along the Ouse Valley to see what we could find to forage.

I must admit it was mainly Zoe foraging; it was she who risked the spiky tendrils of the thick brambles, in search of the deep purple blackberries. She risked the sharp stabs from inch long thorns as she delicately attempted to collect the powdered fruit of the blackthorn, the sloe crop looking good in many places, with plenty of green berries still to ripen for autumn proper.

Zoe collecting the Fruit
Zoe collecting the Fruit

 

Pointing out the best crops
Pointing out the best crops

Me well I was taking the photos and avoiding the glassy needles of the healthy stinging nettles, having opted for shorts in the humidity of what is a fast approaching autumn.

Results

Despite, it seems, being late to the event, so to speak, we came back with a plastic tub full of blackberries, and a similar one filled with Sloe, ready to be frozen and used in sloe gin. Someone may be making the odd Christmas present this year!

As for the blackberries well they ended up in a blackberry and apple crumble, no photos of that sorry was eaten too quickly.

A bullock that I didn't run from (I'm not a cow fan, but my kids think I run screaming from them all the time)
A bullock that I didn’t run from
(I’m not a cow fan, but my kids think I run screaming from them all the time)

It amazes me that, with so much free fruit out there, more people don’t go for a little forage every now and then. Of course only pick enough for you. Leave some for the birds and other wildlife that will rely on them later in the year; and PLEASE make sure you know what you are picking. I saw someone collecting dogwood berries convinced they were elderberries the other day! Fortunately not poisonous but they sure won’t taste good.

Autumnal Feelings

While out on our afternoon forage there was a real sense of autumn in the air. Not something you’d always expect in August. But along with the ripe berries (I’m sure it’s early) there were large clumps of toadstool (or mushrooms) all around, and the butterfly numbers were minimal to say the least.

Lone Toadstool
Lone Toadstool

 

Speckled Wood
Speckled Wood

Even the dragons are sleeping already, with just the autumn favourites of Common Darter and Southern Hawker.

 

A reminder of summer past
A reminder of summer past

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