absolute awesomeness addiction Adversity An Uncommon Whore angels animal rescue animal welfare Anne Kane anxiety aquamarine author corner bad angels bad weather Barbara Elsborg BDSM bdsm romance belinda mcbride BelindaPalooza Belindapendence Belle Starr beverages bisexual bisexual romance Black Planet Blacque/Bleu blog hop Broken Cancer CAPA changeling press characters cherise sinclair China chronic pain Coming Out contests cooking courage craft creativity culinary competion custom art cyber punk Dark Haven deadlines Deeply blog demons depression dog shows dogs Doms of Dark Haven Dos Lunas Dragon's Blood drawings druids election embarrassment EPIC Winner erotic romance erotica expressive writing faith family fantasy fear femme domme fiction Film fire firefighters France free reads full moon futuristic genre hopping ghosts goldenwolfen grand prize greco-roman culture halloween happiness haunted mansions head/desk health heroines hide my head in shame Hong Kong human trafficking Iditarod Inspirational jessica freely Jessica Freely jianne carlo Kate Roman KC Burn Lance Mackey las vegas Last Call Europe lena austin lex valentine LGBT lifestyle linda suzane Lisabet Sarai little Dragon Little Dragon Little Foxes loose Id lost pets love scenes lucky in red lynn lorenz m/m m/m romance Madly martial arts martini mary winter meditation menage romance menege mental illness My Birthday mythology NaNoWriMo New Concepts Publishing new release New Year's Giveaway News nutrition overcoming pack politics paranormal paranormal romance Paris Passion in Print passionate plume pearls personal pet peeves PETA PL Nunn positivity procrastination Rainbow book awards real life release dates Review Risk romance save the quiet kitty science fiction Sele selena illyria shape shifters Sheri Lewis Wohl shunga siberian husky sidhe sierra cartwright slavery smoke snow snowfire: chrysalis space opera speculative fiction St John and St Thomas stupid mistakes succubus survival Suzanne Rock Tara Lain terrorism The Next Big Thing The Romance Reviews Tiger Eyes time off TMI Tony Leung travel Truckee Wolves Truly urban fantasy valentine's day vampires vampiropolis weight weight loss well being werewolves When I Fall wicca wildlife witches wolves World building world events writer's block writer's health writers block writing writing habits yacht

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Summer Stuff

Here it is, August in Northern California. Whew...we seem to have survived an extended heat wave without too much suffering. It's hot, make no mistake...but the swamp coolers are doing their job fairly well this year.

One of the victims of our hot spring and summer were our wild blackberry vines. There's a big patch in the middle of my dog yard, and another by the creek that borders our property. This year, they didn't do so well. The berries that grew were puny and dry and extra difficult to harvest. Last year we had milder weather and the harvest was amazing! It had been quite awhile since they were so lovely.

While I was coming home from a dog show a few weeks ago, I stopped by Pedrick's Produce Stand (Just to the west of Davis, CA) and to my delight, they had some locally farmed berries. They were huge, luscious and perfectly ripe. I bought a half-flat and rushed them hope, tossing them in the freezer till I have time to make jam. Of course, we enjoyed a few handfuls, marveling at how perfectly sweet they were.

Of course, I'm never one to leave good enough alone, so I decided I'd put on my jeans and boots and check out what the creek vines were doing. After wading through knee-high stickers and overgrown berry brambles (bad me for letting it get out of control!) I discovered that there were a few really nice berries, but the effort to pick them was just not worth it.

Well, it wasn't until I popped one in my mouth.

The lovely farmed berries just don't hold a candle to the wild berries that struggle though barren soil, blazing heat and limited water. They were tart but sweet, and the flavor was intense. I gathered all I could, little more than a cup or two, but I had to make the effort. Because who needs tame when there's wild?

When I finally finish my current project, I'll bring all the berries out of the freezer and I'll make my berry jam for the year. Yes, the farmed berries are a little dignified and mellow, but you know, a handful of wild will shake up their flavor just enough.

All winter, we'll use the jam I make and once again, I'll remember that doing it the easy way just doesn't pay the same rewards in the end. I might get hot and sweaty, scratched up and full of stickers, but that little bit of wild will remind me that a bit of extra effort makes a whole lot of difference. :)

Same as in writing. Same as in life.