The weather here in the Pacific Northwest is like that: sunny one day, rainy the next. I am getting ready to experience my third fall and winter season here and am bracing for a wet, cooler-than-normal season, according to Cliff Mass, who is projecting a moderate-to-strong La Niña event this winter. El Niño brings the opposite effect, and that's what we had last year: a mild, sunny winter and spring. Our weather didn't actually hit until May and June, so everything has been delayed in ripening. Seattle usually has 64 days of 70+ days in the spring and summer, and this year it has only been 35 (so far). The two hot spells masked the cool weather, with the average being skewed upward by six days over 90 degrees.
Rubus armeniacus, which grows everywhere. This is from the Wikipedia link:
The species was introduced to Europe in 1835, and Australasia and North America in 1885. It was valued for its fruit, similar to that of common blackberries (Rubus fruticosus and allies); but larger and sweeter, making it a more attractive species for both domestic and commercial fruit production. The cultivars 'Himalayan Giant' and 'Theodore Reimers' are particularly commonly planted. The species soon escaped from cultivation and has become a serious invasive species in most of the temperate world.This picture was taken from my porch. The area to the south of our apartment once had a chicken farm and is now an overgrown blackberry field. (I'm sure glad the chicken farm is gone! The vacant area also is home to many wildlife, including raccoons, skunks, and deer.) There's also some fireweed and other bushes I don't recognize.
Although the blackberry bushes are a scourge for most of the year, I found an article that talks about how they are viewed in this part of the world during harvest time. It's from the New York Times Diner's Journal about Himalayan Blackberries in the Pacific Northwest. I hope you read it; there's some humorous information about efforts to control the vines, as well as a wonderful blackberry pie recipe at the end.
Ah ha, I'm first for once! Usually I'm last! Loved seeing your pictures of the trees and the balloon man and the blackberries. I'm working on a blackberry post too. I suppose it's just that time of the year, isn't it! Here, blackberry and apple pie is a firm favourite and as I speak, my freezer is full of them. It seems to have been a very good year for blackberries here this year.ReplyDelete
I hope your winter is not too severe this year.
I remember how amazed I was at the size of blackberry bushes when we moved to the Pacific Northwest. They're one tough and stubbern plant. I'm not sure there are enough goats in the Pacific Northwest to keep the blackberries under control.ReplyDelete
I also have to say they are delicious, and they're free for the picking along most roads.
We have the common blackberry around the perimeter of the field, it's hard enough to control, can't imagine something more invasive and with thorns. :) Ours ripened back in July and are in the freezer, ready for crisps.ReplyDelete
Thought I'd hang out here today and glad I did. You do have a wealth of blackberries. We have bushes surrounding my MIL's home as we did our old home. However, the minute the blackberries are close to ripe, the bears come and eat them. No use competing with THEM!ReplyDelete
Very nice blog DJan.
The fields were full of blackberries back in July, I had to compete with the deer family, and unfortunately they seemed to fet the lion's share.ReplyDelete
The farmer's market looks like a fun place,what cute entertainment, especially to keep the children occupied.
Oh wow I thought they were grapes!! Love the pictures!!ReplyDelete
Though I have never been to the Pacific Northwest, I don't think I could tolerate overcast weather. I prefer sunshine. When it does rain here, a rainbow appears and we call it "liquid sunshine." Beautiful!ReplyDelete
Rent a ruminent? Really? That's amazing! The blackberries do look lovely.ReplyDelete
We had a pretty cold winter this past year with more snow than I've seen in my 8 years here. Hmmm...I wouldn't mind if fall simply lasted a bit longer this year. Last year it seemed we had a few weeks of fall and dove headlong into winter.
Blogger Murr Brewster just recently did a great post on invasive blackberries. She tells it much better than I could. My policy is search and destroy on sight.ReplyDelete
Love rainy days; however, not endless rainy days. The one and only blackberry bush planted died within a month after going into the ground so my mouth is watering just looking at your invasive variety.ReplyDelete
Well those Blackberries look wonderful to me! Rent a Goat..since I love goats..I believe that would be a perfect job for Chance and I. I hope you are picking them and freezing them for winter. We do not have blackberries here..so you are lucky! Three dollars a pint in the grocery store last week..I did buy some:)ReplyDelete
I love blackberries. One of Frank's neighbours planted some in a nearby field a couple of years back and they're large and luscious at this time of the year. And SO delicious.ReplyDelete
that balloon man is pretty funny...off to check out the blackberry recipe though, as i love them...hope the coming weather is not too bad on you...and hope we have a little less white this winter ourselves..ReplyDelete
No rain over this way, we hit near ninety today. You can send some over if you like. I really like the balloon man, the dragonfly is so cute.ReplyDelete
I have battled my share of blackberries when we lived in Oregon. I'm not sure if the goats would have been much help with the acres of plants. The berries were delicious however.
My praying mantis from last summer was so cool. I even got to see her lay her egg sac and then see them hatch this summer. That was something to see.
I love the taste of blackberries. I had some and they were thornless. After two years, they had started to take over the patch where I had planted them. So after they had the fruit this season, we began the task of taking them out. All the root system must be removed or you have a new stand of blackberries next year. I planted currants at the same time and those stay where they are planted and produce a delicious crop once each year.ReplyDelete
You do live in a wonderful area, don't you? Just the view from your balcony is restful and interesting. Blackberry pie, you say? Hmmmmm. Sounds good to me.ReplyDelete
I love the sound of the rain falling on the treesReplyDelete
beautiful spot you live in
I remember when we first moved to Portland from Reno and having to hack the ivy off the trees - the very same ivy we babied in Nevada!ReplyDelete
Hello D-Jan!I think you may have missed the coconut lantern pic,just put it up,take a look,if you can.I will be back ...lots to read.ReplyDelete
Wasn't Sunday a rainy day? Phew! We needed it, though.ReplyDelete
One of the things everyone does here in Vancouver is they go out blackberry picking, and the bushes grow absolutely everywhere. I have some near my house. Blackberry pie...! Yum...! With vanilla ice cream. :-)
I love blackberries. I always forage for them.ReplyDelete
I love the rent-a-goat concept. I have seen them working around the airport.ReplyDelete
While on Whidbey Island we picked a few blackberries. I'll post it later. I gave always liked plucking a few to eat out of hand, and know how the find the best ones. It is always the center berry that ripens first and is the biggest.
But growing up in the Wilammette Valley in Oregon, we had so many kinds of domestic berries that we did not use the Himalayans for cooking. We considered them too seedy. But they are free!
Interesting that the pie recipe had no thickening agent in the fruit. Seems like the pie would be very runny.
Mmm blackberries. We eat them often.I agree the growth of berries beats a chicken farm.ReplyDelete