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Battling Blackberry

Who would have thought that the bold, sweet blackberry came from a monster. How could something so delightful you pop in your mouth be connected to an ugly, vicious thing that takes on a life of it’s own? A living plant, yes, but that’s not what I mean. I’m talking about a vine that fights back. It wraps itself around you. It defends itself with large thorns, as well as a tiny prickles that cover the length of the vine. Think of pointy sandpaper.

I was aware that blackberries came from a thorny bush. Here in Sonoma County they grow wild and when the fruit is ripe, I often stop and eat them while I’m out riding my bike. Carefully, because there are thorns.

Never until today had I done anything with the blackberry except pluck it’s divine fruit. Today, I began the  process of clearing my back and side fence of an overgrowth that is coming from the neighbors’ yards up, over and through on to my side. The tangles of jumbled vine is half way down on the fence and there are numerous tendrils that have taken root in my yard as well. I didn’t realize the very end of one vine became the root of another. Does that even make sense?

I was armed with leather gardening gloves and two different sized clippers. Not only did some of the thorns manage to break through the gloves and deliver hellish pokes, but my legs and arms have sustained cuts and scratches, a few quite nasty on the back of one calf. I’m only half way done. We square off again tomorrow.

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