This morning Hubby and I had one task, to harvest mulberries.  If you have never participated in this activity, I recommend you do it once in your life.  Just don’t wear anything you’re particularly fond of.  And don’t look up.

Now, contrary to the popular children’s song, mulberries do not grow on a bush.  They grow on a tree, which Hubby would learn today is not an extremely strong or weight-bearing tree.  This means a good share of ripe berries had already fallen and created a squishy, juicy, mulberry mud of sorts on the ground below.  Having decided the sandals I was wearing would do no good, yours truly decided to go bare-foot.  I can assure you there’s nothing quite like knowing the ground is dry while you wade through inch-deep berry sludge.

To collect the good berries from the tree we laid a tarp beneath the tree in preparation, weighted it down with some errant bricks, and then the fun began.  As Hubby shook the tree with a hook on a pole it began to rain tiny purple grenades.  Ripe berries, hitting the right surface in a particular fashion, explode like ink packs in a bank heist.  Suddenly I appeared to have been beaten by a very small fist, or perhaps a poke attack, and purple and blue splotches spread across my exposed skin like some strange rash.  Soon I was on my knees, coated in purple, picking up handfuls of rolling berries just waiting to stain me.  Then it happened.

One heroic berry found its way directly under my glasses where it released its purple payload in my poor, defenseless eye.  One can imagine a multitude of things that burn one’s eyes.  Mulberry juice has never been exceptionally high on my list until today.  Since my hands were coated in the same offensive substance, Hubby had to climb from his perch and put down his pole to wipe my face and my glasses.  For the rest of the day I looked like I’d been punched in the face.

By the end of the day my legs were blue, my khaki shorts were lavender and indigo tie-dye, and my hair had berry goo stuck in it.  The mulberry tree had clearly won this battle.  Our consolation prize?  Two full gallon-sized bags of mulberries just waiting to be a batch of mead and perhaps a pie.

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