Blackberry Picking

A dry and clear-skied September morning. Just a slight nip in the air – enough to make your cheeks cold and your nose red.

Up the lane a hedgehog is curled in the middle of the road, its innards splayed shockingly across the tarmac. 
An unusual long haired cat, with a combination of cream fur and pale grey and taupe patches, races across the road and disappears beneath a hedge.
Crows caw on rooftops, telegraph wires and congregate way up high on the television aerials.
Tendrils of barbed bramble arch over the pathways catching on our clothes and hair. Berries bulging with juice, get squished beneath our feet, oozing purple onto our shoes.
An occasional leaf comes spinning and twisting down in front of us as we walk.
We went blackberry picking over the fields a few days ago. Four pounds of fruit, the result of a few shaky encounters with territorial spiders, pricked fingers, nettle stings and juice-stained hands. Listening to the birds and crickets as we picked, reaching between spiderwebs and noticing some unusual species we don’t often see around the garden. The view over the surrounding fields and the distant villages silhouetted in the setting sun. The trees casting long shadows across the cow trampled grass. Lots of space for running and hiding and shouting. Investigating fox holes, dodging crusty old cow pats and the deep divots made by the their hooves.
…and to top it all, later that day, a warming bowl of blackberry and apple crumble for our trouble. 

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