The Annual Blackberry Pilgrimage (Willamette Valley, Oregon)

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Yesterday I drove south on I-5 to Woodburn to pick blackberries with a friend of mine at another friend’s house. This has become an annual pilgrimage of sorts and is something we look forward to because good clean berries are becoming so hard to find in the city.

A beautiful blackberry bloom.
We picked for several hours, and after we filled up all of our containers, we probably had about 40-50lbs. of blackberries in the back of the car.

If I can convince one of the foster kids to go back with me, I will return in a few weeks. There are plenty of berries left.

When I returned home my husband remarked that the berries looks so clean and perfect. I had to agree.

After I was done—and truly “tuckered” out—I took a few more photos of fun plants. This thistle reminded me of how we all need to explode sometimes. Sometimes it can get ugly, but sometimes it can make us feel better.

In the beginning, the bloom had resembled the one below, but now, after the explosion, it has morphed into something even more beautiful.

When I took to the shade, I found this Douglas Spirea in bloom. It is a native shrub and one that many don’t like because it is a prolific re-seeder. I think it is really pretty and they should make a candy that looks like it—or a beehive hairdo!

Spiraea douglassi.
We arrived fairly early yesterday, and for a spell, some farmer or nearby homeowner was burning their debris. I tried to get a picture of the smoke, but it was so beautiful yesterday, the sky wouldn’t let me capture the flaw.

As we left, we stopped to admire this view of Mount Hood over a field of garlic or onions that appears to have been grown for the seed or dried flower market.

Driving home in rush hour traffic was so much more pleasant with the scent of freshly picked blackberries in the car. If you’re feeling stressed, I highly recommend a drive to the country to pick fresh berries.

4 thoughts on “The Annual Blackberry Pilgrimage (Willamette Valley, Oregon)

  1. Lucky you! We used to have blackberries at the back of our own garden til one of the neighbors, an old man, decided to kill them. He believes it's a weed!And he did kill them! He learned that they grew on our property, but it was already late. Will you bake a pie?

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  2. I love Douglas Spirea too! And your thoughts on the thistle are cool. Sometimes people do need to explode. The results aren't usually pretty, though. With me, it usually involves a lot of cussing.

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  3. Tatyana, Many of them went right into the freezer. Since I cannot eat wheat gluten or dairy making a pie will be difficult. Instead, I want to make a blackberry syrup and a blackberry sauce for salmon or pork. Still yummy, right?

    Alison, I don't look great exploding either, but it does help us all. As for swearing, I've heard I swear like a logger so I understand. I am working on my Southern accent though to make those moments that much more sweet. I love it when my friend from Alabama lets go because it just sounds so good.

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  4. Hi Ann, I really love that close up photo of the shiny berries. We have a special place we go to that is only accessible by walking or biking. Hubby is getting the bikes spruced up for the event. I feel really lucky to live in this part of the country with such lush pickings at our disposal. Great post!

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