Identify the Mystic Berries. These appeared in my back yard, growing on thick stems which curve over and are armed with Very Serious Thornage. I took a few pictures, because these are not something I planted; I know they're NOT ordinary raspberries because I know what those leaves look like.
And it's NOT this. I'm figuring these berries were carried about in the craw (sounds better than the alternative) of some birds who were enjoying the chaotic jungle that I think of as "my natural garden", and were ultimately deposited, where they began to grow. I think I've seen them before, but I've pulled them out or broken them down. This year, however, my
indolence ...erhhm...Busy Schedule has prevented my doing much in the back yard, and you can imagine my surprise when I found these berries!
This is what they looked like a few days later, "redding up" as they say. They look very much like ordinary raspberries, which happen to be a great favorite of mine -- but which I cannot bring myself to pay eleventyfour dollars an ounce for. HOWEVER! Owing to my
indolence extreme busyness at the Museum (see above), I wasn't able to get out to look at them very often.
NOTE: In order to get the previous photographs, I had to move VERY fast, and only the fact that my clothing caught on the thorns prevented my being carried off in the clutches of an Oscenity of Mosquitos; laughingly called "The State Bird of Wisconsin" I am here to state that there is NOTHING humorous about them, and only the fact that our neighbors are vampires and had a few quarts of Type O (I think it's a Pepsi product) in their fridge... and the knowledge of transfusing ... prevented that last from being my Final Blog post.
UNDAUNTED, however, as I am never, ever daunted at my age, I went out last night to examine them again, and found this:
NOTE: I went out wearing sweatpants (it was in my own backyard, not a soul around to see me) and a hooded sweatshirt with the hood tied tightly around my neck. Did they attack my hands? NO they did not. Fortunately I managed to protect my face....mostly.....
Now, I found this entirely beautiful, and there were several clusters identical to this on the other curving, thorny arms of the plants. Mr Dearling had thought they might be thimbleberries; someone else suggested blackberries. I had no idea - oh, and did it occur to me to (duuuuuuhh) look them up ON LINE? It did not. Lay it at the feet of above-mentioned Busyness.
So what I did instead was go back inside for a bowl, and at great expense to life and blood, I gathered up the ones that were actually like this and therefore, I thought, probably ripe:
I found it interesting that the berries AROUND the central one were still red, but I'm guessing that they're just unripe and will darken. I brought in the eleven ripe berries that I found, and brought them in, where they look like this:
They DO look so edible, and there's some rhyme about white berries being dangerous but red or black being fine....with the exception of Deadly Nightshade, which has bright cherry red berries and are also known as Bella Donna, the poison of choice in Renaissance Italy.....nevermind.
I put them in a pretty ceramic bowl,and showed them to Mr Dearling to see if he might be able to recognize what they were.
NOTE: Mr Dearling was born in da Bronx. Grew up on Longk Islandt. And I'm asking him to identify a wild berry found growing in the wilds of the back yard. Plus - he's a boy. So of course, being a New York boy with all those man genes and a healthy sense of scientific curiosity.......
He ate one.
And of COURSE (you saw this coming) immediately clutched his throat, made hairball hacking noises and slumped against the counter. Unconvincing -- but what could I do? I read "Romeo and Juliet". I immediately popped one into my mouth too.
And thus arrived at the following verdict, since corroborated by examination of information on line, might I add :
They're in the fridge, waiting for some of their fellows to ripen, and then they have an appointment with a splash of cream. There won't be many of them, I think, but we'll each have a small bowl...and then I'll read up to see what I can do to guarantee their future health and welfare, and I'll mark them out for Protection and Further Care.
Unless we were wrong, in which case we might be dead before you finish reading this. Lovely Daughter gets the stash.