The Writing and Musings of a Southern-Fried Earth Angel
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Why do blackberries get their very own, personalized winter in the South? Because by the time it arrives, we've had enough warm days or weeks to think that summer has arrived and we're all done with winter, and then BAM, 40something degree nights and days in the high 50's arrive. We put our sweaters back on and say things like, "brrrr....it's cold!" And that phenomenon happens to coincide with the blackberries blooming.
Recently disturbed areas (i.e. cleared of vegetation) start recovery with a grass stage first dominated by the pioneer species, crabgrass. This is a very short-lived stage of forest recovery or succession. We often see examples of this stage in cleared land that is abandoned and along roadsides where periodic mowing helps to maintain this stage. If left undisturbed, the grass stage progresses to the grass shrub stage dominated by blackberry (Rubus sp.) and broomsedge (Andropogon sp.).
This means that country roadsides are prime real estate for blackberry bushes. Here in Dawsonville and Dahlonega, they're everywhere. The first blooms showed up a week or so ago, and now they're in full, glorious bloom. They're everywhere I look and I can't help but smile. I daresay, come late summer, if I can beat the birds to 'em, I'll be out there, somewhere, picking blackberries.