Blackberries.

I’ve always known that Blackberry vines are evil.

When I was 9, I went to the river with a family I was friends with. We rode down the current in an inflatable boat, and it came too close to the abundant vines that leaned out over the water.

I ducked down as much as possible, but it wasn’t enough. The vines bit into my skin, and tore stinging lines down my scalp, and back. I sat, shivering in the boat until we were back on dry land.

Reaching back, to touch my shoulder blade, my fingers came away slick with sticky blood. The world turned over-exposed, and painfully sharp around me, and I threw up into an empty ice-cream container.

Thankfully I managed to avoid scarring.

Now the blackberries are in my own back yard. There are just a few vines. Enough to do damage though. Enough to cause scarring, this time around, at least.

This weekend I spent about five hours hacking at the noxious weeds, invasive vines, and blackberries, until the clothesline was free of obstruction. Clean up was actually the hardest part of the job, it took me an hour of hauling huge piles of weeds before I was done.

I decided to leave the blackberries to ripen for summer, though. I did clip them back carefully, removing all of the off-shooting runners, in the hopes of keeping them under control… I really hope they can be kept under control, because I’m not even sure how I’d deal with it if they went wild on me…

The thorns, alone, are enough to give me the heebie-jeebies.

On the plus side, the back yard looks great. The removal of all of those strangling vines, and overgrown trees and shrubs has brightened up the whole area, and let in the light.

We could all do with a little extra brightness, these days!

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