NATURE KNOWLEDGE: Black Raspberries

July 4th Week Vacation 2011 073These are Black Raspberries. Many people refer to them as “Black Caps”. As you can see in the photo, when the fruit is picked, the white core remains attached to the plant. This is the simplest way to tell them from Blackberries.

Another way to tell the two berries apart ( in my area of upstate New York and western Massachusetts), is according to their time of ripening. Black Raspberries appear in June and Blackberries are in August.

Black Raspberries are a small fruit and grow in sparse numbers per bush while Blackberries can yield gallons of fruit in a similar space.  I’ve found it hard to find significant patches of wild Black Raspberries. They are susceptible to many blights which also plague wild Raspberries. One final note, they are far less painful to harvest than Blackberries, simply because, their thorns are much smaller and their fruit tends to grow outwardly.

A Black Raspberry patch is indeed a great find!

Weather Prediction

Berkshire County Massachusetts

Since I am outdoors every weekend, I pay attention to the weather.
Farmers do too. It can make or break them.
Every year, I am able to compare the seasons. This year, everything was almost two weeks earlier than last. I have photo records to substantiate my claims but my memory suits me fine, especially when things are a bit “off”. Some of the things that I noticed were:

  • Lilacs bloomed in early May. They were gone before Memorial Day.
  • Salamanders came to our pond in April to lay eggs.
  • The Eastern Phoebes had nested before we put our awning out.(this is a first)
  • Blueberries were out in May. Raspberries too.
  • Blackberries ripened in mid-July.
  • The wood frog tadpoles have grown and gone. (I usually still find some.)
  • The katydids started singing in the last days of July. (usually it is around the 14th of August.)
  • The maple trees have begun turning colors at a quicker pace.

I don’t know what this means but I’m curious to watch as Autumn sets in. At this pace, we may have an early winter. Mother Nature just may be allowing everything more time to prepare.

The only thing I can say for sure is last winter was on schedule. Cardinals start singing a mating song in January and the last two years I’ve heard it one day apart Jan.25 and 24. I documented that phenomenon.

I predict the Fall foliage will peak before October…I’ll guess the 22nd of September. Let’s see if my observations are correct 🙂