The Blackberry Bush

Yellow-Jackets love blackberries too
Yellow-Jackets love blackberries too


Well, summer has officially begun here at the CowChows. First blood has been drawn. I’ve got a wild blackberry bush out in the yard that I’ve been mowing around for several years. It’s not much but it provides a handful of berries every year so I figured it was worth keeping around. Basically, we just co-exist. I mow around it and it only tries to pull me off the mower when I get too close. The rest of the time we pretty much ignore each other. That is, up until yesterday.

Yesterday, I decided this blackberry bush needed to be “controlled.” It’s getting too big to mow around and it’s putting out tentacles that threaten to snare small dogs and children. I had a length of hog-wire fence out back that was crying out to be put to good use. I figured it would make the perfect blackberry cage. So, I cut and curled and crimped until I had a nice round cage that was big enough to enclose the bush but small enough to reach in and pick the berries. Now, all I had to do was get it around the bush.

I took some bungee cords to gather the canes into a tight bundle so that I could slip the cage over them. I gingerly reached in amongst the canes and began snaking the bungee cords around them. This might have worked but for two things, thorns and yellow-jackets. I was prepared to absorb a few thorn pricks but I hadn’t considered the possibility of stirring up a nest of pissed off yellow-jackets. They’re very sneaky when the want to be. They didn’t make a sound until I was fully entangled with the blackberry bush.

By the time I knew what I was into the bush was all over me like a ten legged octopus, and the yellow-jackets were everywhere. I was thrashing and flailing, and I’m not sure but I might have screamed a little. Did I mention that we live on the side of a hill? When I finally broke free of the bramble-monster, momentum took over and I went tumbling down the hill like Jack with no Jill.

Anyway, to make a long story short I’m expecting a bumper crop of blackberries this year, or else.

So, next time life leaves you stinging and bloody and bruised all I can say is, “Welcome to the CowChows.”

Cordially yours,

Tim Couch