Jack’s Walk

Yum, Yum ©voyager, all rights reserved

It’s a hot one here today and Jack and I didn’t get out as early as I hoped – a bit of extra gravity from the humidity slowed me down. Instead it was about noon and Jack was obviously anxious to go out so I decided the shade of the woods was our best option. Jack wanted to go swimming in the river, but there isn’t enough shade there for me so I pulled rank and we went to the forest. For once we didn’t run into any strange happenings, but we did find a patch of ripe wild black raspberries. YES! I picked and ate until my fingers were black and Jack was making the “Come on Mom” noises. I offered him a berry, but he looked at me like I was offering him poison and then he made the sad little whimper again. Sheesh! I’d pretty much denuded the patch by this point, but there are oodles more berries still to ripen so I think next time we come (very, very soon!) I’ll bring a bowl and maybe come home with enough wild, “organic” black raspberries for a pie. I know just how to make it good.

I’ll be back (with a bowl) ©voyager, all rights reserved


  1. says

    I used to camp out near a raspberry patch with a jug of water and a book, in the heat of the summer. It turns out you really shouldn’t eat lots of semi-ripe berries.

  2. Ice Swimmer says

    Raspberries and cloudberries are my favourite berries for dessert type of things.

  3. Jazzlet says

    Mr J is the raspberry fanatic in this household, I like them, but he loves them. We grow our own, though we need to replace our canes, but I’ve not come across a black variety, we have a yellow autumn variety and the usual red ones. My favourite way of making pie with them is the one when put them in a deep dish, cover with pastry, then near the end of the baking time add eggs and cream which turn into custard in the pie, YUM!

    Our first GSD Jazz liked them as did the spaniel, Jazz would delicately pick them off the canes, thankfully Penny just ate the fallen ones, otherwise I dont think we’d have got any, even with the huge patch we had then.

  4. rq says

    Blackberries! Are the Best! I love raspberry jam the most, right after blackberry jam (once made my own and it was the Best) but I dream of the berry season coordinating out of respect for me so that one day I can make a combined raspberry/blackberry/cloudberry jam.
    I also love the yellow raspberries, I had them once and they tasted like peaches.

  5. lumipuna says

    Is this the same species that was featured flowering earlier this summer?

    I’m not personally familiar with the black raspberry, but in that recent conference I heard some interesting updates on its breeding and cultivation.

  6. voyager says


    The earlier berry patch was a red raspberry. These are blackberries. The plants are very similar, but the blackberries are sweeter.

  7. lumipuna says

    A blackberry, as opposed to black raspberry? OK. Blackberries come in many shapes, even more so than raspberries. According to Wikipedia:

    What distinguishes the blackberry from its raspberry relatives is whether or not the torus (receptacle or stem) “picks with” (i.e., stays with) the fruit. When picking a blackberry fruit, the torus stays with the fruit. With a raspberry, the torus remains on the plant, leaving a hollow core in the raspberry fruit.[2]

    Interestingly, the red raspberry (I’m guessing North American red raspberry, Rubus strigosus) looked strikingly different from the European red raspberry I’m familiar with:


  8. voyager says

    Hmm…OK, then I’m confused. According to that definition they are black raspberries, but my family mostly called them blackberries and I use the terms interchangeably. Live and learn -- thanks! They pick just like red raspberries, but are a bit more fragile. I have a mulberry tree that picks with the torus attached, and they would then be considered blackberries.
    I don’t think our red raspberries look that different than yours. I’ll try to get photos sometime this week for comparison.

  9. lumipuna says

    I’m only passingly familiar with mulberries, but their fruits do indeed look very much like some blackberries, despite not being closely related.

    There are so many species of raspberry and blackberry and other members of genus Rubus that their classification and identification is huge botanical challenge. The use of common names may not be very consistent, but usually “raspberries” belong in subgenus Ideobatus and “blackberries” in subgenus Rubus.


    Wikipedia notes on the word “bramble”:

    The blackberries, as well as various other Rubus species with mounding or rambling growth habits, are often called brambles. However, this name is not used for those like the raspberry that grow as upright canes, or for trailing or prostrate species, such as most dewberries, or various low-growing boreal, arctic, or alpine species.

    This, again, seems to be an oversimplification, because some of those obscure low-growing species with no established English name may also be referred to in literature as either “raspberry” or “bramble” or both. Case in point, my own research subject R. arcticus, which isn’t really either raspberry or bramble.


  10. rq says

    I have fallen into the brambles of berry identification and it’s just making me hungry. Thanks for the education, everyone -- it’s easier to name berries by colour, but even checking the local endemic varieties, I see my vocabulary is woefully inadequate to cover all varieties!

  11. voyager says

    Thanks! That’s really helpful.
    I know most plants by the common names my family used. Seeing it set out into genus and subgenus puts some sense into the differences.

  12. lumipuna says

    It’s nice to play an expert in my own field! However, without referring to Wikipedia, I’d feel too much like I’m ‘splaining English common plant names to native speakers.

Leave a Reply