Sunday, April 25, 2010

Blackberry Winter

Each year in the spring, just as the blackberries bloom, there comes a cold snap. This year, the cold snap was escorted in by devastating weather, but it came in none the less.
The old folks called this last cool hurrah, blackberry winter.
I can remember my great grandmother talking about blackberry winter. "Don't put your inside plants outside until after blackberry winter, or you'll have to bring them back in to keep them from being bitten."
Walking today we came across these blackberry bushes down behind the barn.  Looks like we'll have a bumper crop of berries this year.
I picked three gallons of berries last year and we ate them in our morning shakes, blackberry pancakes, and killer blackberry cobbler that Jilda makes.
Blackberry cobbler with a few scoops of homemade ice cream is a rare treat from Mother Nature.
I read a while back that there are fine restaurants in New York City that offer blackberry cobbler in the early summer. They get a kings ransom for a small dish.  My mouth actually started watering just now as I was writing this note.
I hope you are all safe and dry after last nights rampage. It was scary for a while. We watched weatherman James Spann until after nine and at one point it appeared the bad weather had moved off to the east. I walked outside to fetch my backpack out of the car and I knew something was very wrong. The atmosphere felt volatile. It had gotten warmer after we got home and I could hear the wind aloft raging.
By the time I stepped back inside, Jilda said that the weather service had issued a tornado warning for Walker County. When we lined up the trajectory, it was obvious it would be bearing down on us soon. I stepped to the back desk so I could look off to the south west and the lightening looked like a strobe light. Off in the distance I could hear thunder, but I also heard a roar that was not thunder. I grabbed my small video camera and my mp3 recorder and recorded a few seconds before heading off to our safe spot.
A short time later we lost electricity and the sound go louder. Fortunately for us, the storm was about a mile south of here. Jilda's sister Nell, who owns a farm not far from here, lost dozens of trees. They also had several rental (mobile) homes that were destroyed. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
This morning when we got up, the sun was bright, the sky was blue, and there were big fluffy clouds drifting lazily across the sky. It was hard to imagine that only a few hours before the weather was so bad.
Mother Nature offers you some wonderful gifts, like blackberries in the summer. But she also will scare the crap out of you from time to time.

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