We had a lovely time today picking blackberries and raspberries on Wester Craiglockart Hill. On our visit there last week we had notice the cast number of bramble bushes and today we decided to go back with our bags and tubs and do some collecting! We collected a lot of blackberries and quite a few raspberries, most of which Crafty Green Boyfriend's Mum will make into jam.
Here are some of my thoughts about foraging berries:
a) leave enough for other foragers and the wildlife too
b) be careful of the brambles and the other plants, often raspberries and blackberries grow near stinging nettles and gorse (which can scratch quiet badly just as brambles themselves can). Good idea to wear long sleeves and hardwearing fabrics
c) don't pick by the side of roads because of the fumes and particulates from car exhausts
d) don't pick from plants right next to the pathway if they're under the height of a dog
e) while foraging take time to enjoy the nature all around you.
Today it was quite breezy and at times the air was full of thistledown and the seeds of willowherbs. The gorse pods were audibly popping as they split to release their seeds. Robins were singing their wistful autumnal song all around us.
Plus, I saw my first small copper butterfly of the year! This is such a lovely butterfly, tiny and beautifully patterned with a gorgeous rich orange colour. They're quite common on the hills of Edinburgh, so I'm surprised this was my first of the year. This photo is a close up that I then severly cropped so you can see the detail, which may make the butterfly seem much bigger than it is.