Birds, Bees and Blackberries

Over the past few week “babi bear” and I have been out walking the country lanes and roads surrounding our home much earlier than usual at about 8.30am. This new earlier time started due to “A” now refusing to sleep or stay  in bed after 6.30am and I decided since we were up and organised we’d walk early, and it was lovely. So lovely we’ve added it to our daily routine.

can u spot the tiny bees?

can u spot the tiny bees?

The countryside is so peaceful at that time, less traffic, the birds are singing their hearts out, little bees are busy buzzing around wildflowers and the livestock in the fields are still relaxing and you can hear the river something which is normally drowned out by the daily hum of farm machinery, people, cars and animals.

It was during these walks whilst I had more time to just take everything in not having to worry about a car flying round a corner at any moment that I noticed the hedgerows were scattered with gorgeous blackberries in various shades of pink to purple.

Blackberry picking had been something I had done when I was small on these very lanes and roads, whilst visiting my grandparents who live and still do on the road which we now do too. I stopped a couple times during our walks to show “A” the berries though to be honest she was far more interested in the cows in the field beside but I thought later in the week we’d bring containers out with us and maybe pick some to bring home and make something with.

my little gran picking away

my little gran picking away

Today I decided would be the day to go picking. Before though I popped down the road to my grandparents to ask my gran “A’s” great gran if she fancied coming too.  It was just like old times. She like me hadn’t been blackberry picking in years as despite baking daily crumbles, cakes, buns and more she, only ever picked berries with the grandchildren. The youngest of which is now 12 years old and has outgrown/thinks shes too cool to go walking with her gran never mind berry picking. So was a bit of a nostalgic treat for us both.

We got some gloves (helps keep your fingers stain free and handy keeping the odd nettle sting at bay), some containers and set off, we only had to walk 2 minutes down the small road in front of my house to find the hedgerows teaming with berries.

 “A” sat happily gazing around her, babbling away. I encouraged her to look at the berries pointing them out as we came across each batch. Yes I know shes 7 months and probably didn’t get the whole blackberry picking but she really enjoys being out and loves nature. I let her get touchy feeling with a few berries she even squished a few (wipes handy anyone?)  which she thought was hilarious.

She is brillant for spotting tiny creators by herself  and was mesmerised by a butterfly on a leaf which landed just out of her reach (luckily for it!) and a ladybird who decided to hitch a ride on her cosytoes!!

We  happily pottered about for around an hour and gathered a total of 4 and a half pounds of berries and that hardly even touched the amount that was on offer. The hedgerows that line our fields behind our house are filled with berries also but for now we will leave our resident robins and wood pigeons to pick them!

We returned home to start getting creative in the kitchen. After washing them, I let “A” have a taste (yes I know some doctors etc don’t recommend babies eat berries but I think a little with careful supervision does no harm). She loved them!! Smiles all round. My gran and I whipped up 8 jam jars full of blackberry jam and two blackberry crumbles one for their house and one for ours!

“A” had a few sneaky little fingertip dips of jam and it went down a treat! All in all we had a fabulous day exploring the countryside and tasting whats on offer,  and  we only had to step out through our front door a few yards 🙂

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