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Into the Woods

There’s something sweeter about the fruit you pick yourself.

We spent the night at my parents’ cabin on Monday. The boys ran around gathering snails, picking up sticks for the woodpile and just being boys for awhile. Then, we decided to hike down to the pond.

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This pond is probably nothing like you are picturing. You can’t really see it until you’ve stomped through the brambles, snagged yourself on a few trees and batted away a spider’s web or two. Hidden among the trees, it is nowhere near being on the beaten path. And, when you finally approach, the first thing you see is a sea of tiny frogs leaping to safety in the water.

A few years ago, The Dad pulled fish out of this pond like it was a hatchery, but we haven’t had much luck nice then. To add to the excitement, one of the biggest challenges this year was finding a spot to stand that didn’t cause you to be in the thicket or sucked into the mud. But, with the boys standing in a relatively clear area, I eyed something worth the snags and sticks.

A blackberry bush with large, dark berries looking as if they were about to drip from the branches.

We had passed a few bushes, but most of the berries were either still red or on the small side. I could just tell by looking at this bush that its berries were at that perfect stage where the sun had ripened them to their sweetest point. So, off I went (leaving the boys in their spot), climbing thirty feet around in the trees to get to the bush ten feet away.

But it was worth it. The boys made quick work of the blackberries and were on the lookout for more.

On the way back, I spotted another bush ripe for picking. It was MUCH closer to the cabin and absolutely covered with ripe berries.

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So, the next morning, I traipsed out to the bush, quickly filled my hands with berries and took them back to the boys. They literally used one hand to pick up a berry while feeding themselves with the other hand.

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After about a minute, the berries were gone. D looked at me and pouted, “I only got three!”

Sorry, buddy, your face tells a different story!

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Note: No, he’s not missing any teeth. They’re just covered in blackberries!

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