It’s been quite stormy here in the Northwest for the past week or so. This morning, however, the sky was semi-clear and by about 1 PM or so, the sun came out. As it’s late fall/early winter, the sun’s trajectory is further to the south and casts a beautiful light, even at midday. I was looking out of my home office admiring the sun when I saw a single red spot on the neighbor’s unpainted cedar fence. I knew what it was and I also knew I had to capture the image before the sun was obscured by clouds. I grabbed the camera and was able to shoot a number of images from different angles before the wind made it almost impossible. The red “spot” was a pair of blackberry leaves that had forced their way through the fence creating a dramatic image. In the summer the blackberry leaves are a deepish green but as the fall slowly arrives, they begin to turn color, often to this magnificent shade of red.
The blackberry brambles in this area often are of enormous proportions, sometimes encompassing acres of land. If left unattended, they will simply overgrow everything, including abandoned houses – there was one such poor house on the way to work. As each summer advanced, the canes covered the house bit by bit until one day all you could see was a strange looking mound of blackberry canes off the freeway. Once they come in, they are almost impossible to eradicate if you leave even the slightest bit of root in the ground.
When we can we go blackberry picking in fields similar to the photo below.
The thorns are extremely sharp and extremely unforgiving if you brush up against them. As you pick the berries you get to sample your work and the ripest ones almost fall apart in your fingers as you pick them. These you eat right on the spot. When Grendel was with us, we would take him along and as we picked he was right there with us gingerly picking only the ripest blackberries of the canes and then eat them. If you look closely, you can see the berries in various ripening stages from unripe red to delicious black.
He knew which ones were ripe and those that weren’t and was very selective in which ones he went after. It was amusing to watch him as he slowly approached the berry, pull his lips all the way back and then gently grab the berry with his teeth, step back and eat the berry. He was part wolf and he adopted us one day when he followed our oldest son home from the bus stop. He was very loyal, very gentle with the family and would never leave the yard.
The final image for today is the Greenman. He’s underneath our cherry tree and I decided to take another shot in today’s sunny break from the clouds and rain. It was windy and it was a challenge to catch him when he wasn’t spinning this way and that.
Tools: Nikon D300, Tamron 90mm macro (blackberry shot); Nikon 80-200 (Greenman), PS5 and NIK software.