Blackberrry is to August and summer like pumpkins are to October and fall. Without fail, the streets of the Lower Mainland are lined with blackberry bushes with ripe fruit ready for reaping around this time of year. Those plump juicy berries have been taunting us as we drive up the streets headed home so this night, we are going in for the robbing. Plus it gives me a reason to document our simple life, storytelling style :).
Robbing you say? Well, the ones that are technically in public spaces like parks and along streets have been picked over by, well, the public. Bikes huffing up the hill close to our house, I’m certain, have stopped and satiated their thirst with blackberry juice and water. We’ve seen the grandpas and grandmas of the hood out with their rubber-lined, thorn-proof gloves, dropping the ladders onto the prickly bushes and pillaging the hood of their best blackberries and heading home, bucket filled, planning for a pie-off with their friends.
So we resort to the bushes less-visible, less-trampled, which leads us to the grey areas of alleyways. That’s right, the bushes that could be considered on someone else’s property, but so overgrown that they can’t see us picking it on the other side :). To add to the desirability, these berries are within walking/riding distance. What else was there to do on a Tuesday evening after dinner?
We got the bikes ready for our girls. Elliotte has just gotten the hang of it and of course, what big sis does, the little one follows suit. Ladybug is coming along with Janie. But about 5 minutes and 100m away from our house, Janie gives up on the run bike and decides that carrying it will have to do. Another few minutes and Elliotte proclaims that riding downhill is “too tiring for my body”. Read: our turn to carry bikes. E’s bike weighs so much I want to call it Galena. That’s right, I pulled out a mineral term. Google it.
An empty school parking lot seems like the perfect place for some flat, easy riding. That dress Janie’s wearing is simply too awkward for her on the bike seat so she insists it has to come off. In usual J style, if we don’t respond right away, her world comes crashing down. Next, she takes it on herself. Picture her perfect right then. Once the dress is off, life is great again. She’s thrilled to be riding, half naked.
Finally we head downhill to the secret alley and Elliotte has a fall. More screaming ensues. By this time, Derek has both bikes in his hand, I have Kona tied to me and J on my shoulders. No amount of words can comfort her to pick herself up or move on. I thought it was an appropriate time to take a picture of my reflection and J, both dishevelled.
As the sun heads off to bed, the golden light shines on the berries with our names on it. They are so ready for the picking they slide right off their stem. The reaping wasn’t the biggest in our books but they were sweet and delicious and gave us 2 hours of quality family time together.
Felicia Chang Photography specializes in newborn, family and birth photography in Vancouver, British Columbia and surrounding areas including but not limited to North Vancouver and West Vancouver.