Orange has been one of my favorite colors for a long time. It’s an accent color used quite sparingly in nature, though—and that’s why I was so pleased to find a rowan tree growing in our own backyard. It’s lacy pinnate fronds are ever graceful and attractive in their own right, but the fruit clumps that ripen to a vibrant orange in late summer are certainly my favorite feature.
The first year we lived here, I thought I was being clever, and tucked bunches of them into a fall wreath I had made of dried flowers and grasses for some instant, non-artificial pops of color. It really did look lovely on our front door! By the next day, however, the berries were completely gone and my wreath was in shambles.
Lesson learned: never hang bird food on your front door unless that’s what it’s intended for. Now I just leave them on the tree and sit back and watch the clumps of orange berries disappear into the bellies of happy little birds fueling up for their upcoming journey south.
That’s what they were created for, after all.
“Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so.” (Genesis 1:29-30)
The golden rays of the sinking sun slanted down through the treetops as we worked our way carefully along the brushy edges of the narrow lane, searching. There were no buckets present; this excursion was not for duty or mass accumulation, but sheer enjoyment. We ate them as fast as we found them, fingers soon stained with streaks of red. It was an evening for one of summer’s best simple joys: picking wild raspberries.Excursions to the local u-pick berry patches with their neatly mulched rows and abundant berries are a yearly tradition that I love and look forward to. Earlier this week, I brought home buckets full of blueberries; a couple weeks ago, it was buckets full of strawberries. But there’s nothing quite like venturing out into the woods to find them growing wild. You know—where the value of the berries acquired is in direct relationship to the amount of scratches on your ankles and arms, the number of mosquitoes and deer flies swatted, and the quantity of burrs stuck to your clothing and hair. And where you may go searching only to find that the bears have beat you to them, like they or some other hungry four-footed creature did to my secret gooseberry patch last week! Though thankfully (or would that be regretfully?) I have never had the pleasure of actually meeting a bear while out picking!
But the rewards of your labor are berries with flavor that no cultivated varieties can ever quite manage to live up to. Entirely worth the trouble. And, like I said, best eaten straight off the bush.
I wonder if God smacked His lips when He made raspberries? Certainly He must have smiled to Himself as He anticipated our enjoyment of them!
“And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food”…And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:29, 31)
With the memory of sweet-tart sun-drenched berry juice fresh on my mind, yet again, I have to agree.