Wild raspberries

I'm starting to notice the change.

The apple trees, along the fencerows, are heavy with nearly ripe fruit.

Leaves, just a few, are starting to yellow on the trees.

Crickets are singing their incessant song through twilight and evening.

Goldenrod and Michaelmas daisy are prolific in their bloom.

And the wild red raspberries hang ripe, in every woods clearing.

I've been picking those raspberries this week, braving the bugs (long pants and a windbreaker with a hood are the best strategy I've found).

Wild raspberry picking is not about the yield so much. It's hard work and the berries aren't particularly big. Certainly not the size of their storebought counterparts.

I am still new to this place, it's only our second summer on the peninsula. The raspberry harvest coincides with a slightly different season than I am used to. I am used to backyard raspberries in July, eaten with shell peas and garden lettuce.

But these wild raspberries are harbingers of fall. Maybe that's just because the growing season where I live is short and intense.

And so new memories are laid on top of old, wild raspberries with fall's first note in the air.

I've probably lived this summer more in the moment (as everyone is so fond of saying) than any other in my life. I feel I have squeezed all the goodness from these past couple months, and then some. Our plans have been many and varied, and sometimes have changed on a whim.

Plans were on the calendar but I wasn't living them, in my mind or otherwise, until they arrived. There was too much living in the present moment to do.

It's been a good summer (in spite of stresses I haven't blogged about).

But this past week I got the first hint of a change in the air.

Fall is coming. For some of you that is a relief. Summer is not so gracious in many parts of the world. Here, it is the crown jewel of the year; vibrant with the colors of precious gems - a sapphire sky and sea, turquoise rivers, emerald woods and ruby fruits.

This summer, on the heels of a hard late winter, is especially precious to me. Summer has filled my well and week after week I feel so good, returning to my vibrant self, "Hello Hon, I'm so happy to see you again."

Last night, watching the clear indigo sky fade to black, I felt my first twinge of fall melancholy. Just a twinge.

Fall is my friend. A season of new beginnings and structure. When it's time, I will be ready for that change. But not quite yet.

Camping, swimming, peach and berry cobblers; the end of summer is meant to be lived appreciating what is here and now, not pining for what will be lost when it's over.

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  • Nicole

    Nicole on Aug. 18, 2013, 1:31 p.m.

    Well, no hint of fall here yet.  We usually have what is referred to as Indian Summer - some hot days and evenings all the way into September and October.  (It is supposed to be 99 or 100 today!)

    But the berry-picking, oh yes!  Only it is blackberries here.  All along the river.  We went 2 weeks ago and took our kayaks out and picked a bunch of wild blackberries.  And figs, too!  Lovely.

    Love your photos today (and every day!), especially the 2nd from last, with the tops of trees at the bottom of the frame but then an incredible view of green hills and blue sky.  Nice!


    • renee

      renee on Aug. 18, 2013, 2:24 p.m.

      True fall is a month away but signs of its arrival are in the air. 

      That photo you like is the view from a mountain in the Parc National de la Gaspesie, looking north to the St. Lawrence river. The river is the blue on the horizon. We went hiking there this week. I use a polarizer on my lens to achieve the blue "pop" in the sky. 


  • Mama

    Mama on Aug. 18, 2013, 7:42 p.m.

    I think I can relate. There is part of me that hopes for an extra long warm season this year because so much more can be accomplished and it is far easier when living in a camper in New England, but there is a part of me that also anticipates the routine and quiet of fall. I find transitions difficult because I want to commit myself to one season fully, not half of both, so I am trying to hold on to summer just a little longer until it really is all gone.


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