The early spring berries and cherries are still timidly ripening in the unusually cool weather – very late in the season for them. They're smaller than usual this year, and tricky to find: one must know the places where the wild strawberries grow (hiding in the grass amidst the wild thyme in bloom!), and which trees to hike to for cherries. By now, their locations are mapped in the history of our family.
Spring in and spring out since moving here, we've gone seeking the berries. It was first me and the two little boys, then the older boys on their own or with friends on some years - a bunch of little monkey-boys climbing up the cherry trees. Then brothers with little sister in tow, she holding the basket for them. Some years we've come back with bucketfuls of berries, others there have been none. Some years the birds and forest critters have got there first. This year, a convalescent Rebecca (it's been a long and tough winter for her!) proposed we go berry-picking one morning, and she confidently marched right out: by now she knows exactly where to go.
We came back from the berry hunt with a meagre crop, but fortunately, the strawberries in the garden are beginning to ripen, and we added those to the tiny, fragrant wild strawberries and the minuscule cherries - and a dollop of our elder flower syrup for extra wilderness sweetness, and some custard for extra filling for the starving teens, and we had berries for dessert.