Foraging

Autumn. My favourite season. Mists and mellow fruitfulness or whatever it is.

We have been berrying. E naps better in the afternoon if we go out, for a walk or something, so the local parks and nature reserves get frequent visits from us. The elderberry tree across the road from our house was heavily pruned last year by the council (though they replaced the bird feeders we’d hung up on it which was nice of them…) so not much hope of getting fruit from it this year.

I used to go berrying when I was little and am sure that we didn’t get any bother in those days. (That sentence makes me sound ancient doesn’t it?) But I’ve noticed in the past couple of years people seem to frown on it. We’ve had several people go past us as we picked blackberries and mutter “They should be left for the birds” in a self-righteous manner.

Well. First up, until this week there were plenty of insects around for the birds to eat AND there are still loads of berries on high branches that I can’t reach so I have no worries about stealing the food from tiny beaks. Plus there’s still lots of fruit that hasn’t ripened yet, and the fruit that was there wasn’t being touched by the birds so why should it be left to rot on the branches? To make you feel better? Pshaw…

And that was just the blackberrying. Who knows what they’d have said if they saw me whip a pair of scissors from my pocket and cut off some elderberries.

I imagine their real annoyance is that they didn’t think of it first and are cross that I’m getting something for nothing. Does it count as theft? The nature reserve don’t use the fruit and neither do Norfolk County Council when we helped ourselves to fruit from their hedges last week. (I should stress we don’t take anything from people’s gardens.)

Anyway, here’s the result of our gathering.

And a blackberry and apple crumble but we’ve eaten that. A few Christmas presents sorted!

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