I had a conversation one time with an officer of the law:
"Where do you think you are going," he asked in an I'm-pretty-sure-I-won't -believe-the-answer-anyhow tone of voice, "with a pickup truck, a bashed up wooden pallet from the hardware store, and a bunch of coffee cans?"
(The fact that I was married to the officer at the time of the conversation should give you a clue about the state of my marriage. I consider myself fully recovered now)
My now-former husband was a city boy from Maryland, where (according to him) everything belongs to somebody. He could not ever grasp the (apparently local) custom of lack of blackberry ownership.
Here in the Swampland, blackberries not only don't belong to anybody, but also, all blackberries belong to everybody who is crazy enough to donate enough blood to the vines in order to harvest them.
In rainy summer years, the birds claim dominion over the blackberries, which are nutritious but bitter. Crows especially enjoy fermented bitter berries, and will eat them to the point of drunkenness, which is a special form of hilarity that we won't get to enjoy this year because the berries are just too good.
In hot dry sunny summers like this one, the sweet, juicy berries belong to the first person savvy enough to notice that they're ripe...and clever enough to carry the tools around in her truck ready to grab them.
You guessed it: a bashed-up pallet from the hardware store, and a bunch of coffee cans.
My berry-picking tools get loaded into my truck during the first week of August so that I'm READY for berry picking on short notice.
This year, I took Willy with me. He is a huge fan of the pallet, which allows access to those super-sweet berries at the very top of the bushes.
We'll freeze a bunch of berries for mid-winter smoothies, and eat them by then handful while they're fresh. But for "opening day" of blackberry season, it's important to celebrate with the proper food:
Oh yeah. Life is good.