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Sunday, August 21, 2011

End of the Season (Blog Forty-seven)

The rhythm that is the seasons is very much much in evidence right now.  Last Monday, I returned to my high school English job as the first work day had arrived and this coming Wednesday is the first day of school with students.  The previous Saturday I went on my last summertime fishing trip, as Elaine and I traveled to the South Fork of the Shenandoah in the Front Royal area.

Earlier this month, we picked wild blackberries for the last time this year, just gathering enough for blackberry pancakes (picture below).  That blackberry harvest ended a long sequence of berries that has ripened with strawberries in May, cherries in May and June, raspberries and wineberries in July, and dewberries and blackberries in July and August.

Next month, we will be able to pick a few summer grapes, as well as gather some mockernut and shagbark hickory nuts, plus some paw paws.  The main nut, though, will be the wild black walnut harvest in early October, and the trees on our Botetourt County land are heavily laden.  Good for us, and good for the gray and fox squirrels that also live here.

Sometime in late October and early November, we will gather some persimmons and that will conclude our various harvests for the year.  But it is a comfort knowing that our freezer will be full of quart berry "bags," and our pantry filled with jams and preserves.

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