Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.



Who doesn’t love blackberries? They’re sweet and tart and good for us. BUT, the plants are so thick they grow into a formidable barrier wherever they take root.

Blackberries grow wild in many places, especially on Vancouver Island. They are tough plants with fierce thorns for protection, and they have their prolific growth patterns perfected. The vines that come up from the roots each year will easily take root wherever the end (or middle or any other part) of the vine touches the ground.

It is listed as an invasive plant. No kidding!

The blackberries in front of our hedge had grown so much that they were pulling down our wire deer fence, squeezing through the cedars, and slurping up all the water we were giving the hedge.

I’d had enough.

You can see that locals had made us their dog walk. Why let your dog poop by your own property when you can bring it over to someone else’s and let them do their business there?

Unfortunately, many of the ones who picked up after their dogs then thought it was okay to fling the plastic poop bag into the blackberries. And while they were at it, why not fling any other garbage in there too? After all, out of sight, out of mind. I found a water bottle from a local coffee shop, beer cans, beer bottles, a ball point pen in two parts, candy wrappers,about six  poop bags, and even an umbrella.

And one conscientious person didn’t pick up their doggie’s “doo” but left it for nature to take care of. Actually I prefer that, but please, move it out of the way? Then again, when you get hundreds of people bringing their dogs to poop, how is it going to look and smell if no one takes care of that business?

I’m glad I don’t walk there, but it IS in front of my house.

It took me several weeks of cutting, hacking, pulling, cursing, and wincing to get the blackberry vines to let go and to pile them up in heaps.


The blackberries have been cut down,

But new ones come up from the ground,

The old vines have the hardest spikes,

They give a poke that no one likes.


The young vines wrap so easily,

Around my arm, around my knee,

They tangle right into my hair,

They scratch me, and they don’t care where.


I wonder if it’s worth the woe

To cut the vines so they won’t grow.

For every piece I cut away

I get another scratch and pay.


My arms and legs have red designs

They’re scratched with deep and angry lines

And even as the first pain fades

I run to get some more Band-aids.




Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

44 thoughts on “Blackberries

  1. Ouch! Yes, I’ve been scratched many times by blackberry bushes, but I figured the bushes were only trying to protect their sweet fruit. And the bushes weren’t in my yard, but a few blocks away at the edge of another yard, in which the neighbors encouraged us to pick and eat. Not many were brave enough to conquer the branches. But in the summer (in CA, we only got the blackberries in late July/August) I’d pick a bunch and make blackberry buckle. Yum! Worth the scratches. And Henry the dog LOVED them.
    That said, I’d be mad as hell if people desecrated my property /trails/and bushes like you’ve described. Good job in clearing them out a bit. You got a good poem out of it too! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, it’s only our road frontage, but still…. Other people put grass on their frontage and don’t expect people to trample it or throw garbage on it. Good to hear you’ve experienced blackberries!


  2. In Alfter, where I used to live for more than 30 years, they make wine and a sweet liquor from them. The wine is called “Rebellenblut”. It’s kind of dangerous: you can get quite drunk without noticing anything – until you want to get up and your legs are like rubber. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love Blackberries! So the trail is not on your property, yet all that trash is in there?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the poem! LOL! Sounds like a big job, worse than rose bushes. I can’t believe how terrible people are about trash! It seems to have boomeranged since the 70’s and 80’s when people became conscientious.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Anneli, I have gone blackberry picking a few times. The first time I had many scratches on my arms and hands. Future visits I brought gloves and sticks. I do find they are worth the effort. I just now remembered you live on Vancouver Island, so you know some of the “secret” blackberry hiding places. And then the not so secret bushes. Your poem describes blackberries well! Erica

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hmmm… can you pile all those cut down bramble pieces on the “trail” to deter dog walking and irresponsible jerks? I have NOOO patience for people who don’t pick up after their dogs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha, I’d like nothing better, but these people would scream about their rights (not giving a hoot about mine). There’ s a woman in a pink jacket who walks on the road on the other side of our property. She leaves a pink doggie bag in a neighbour’s garden soil at the edge of her property. Maybe she thinks that because it’s pretty pink that makes it okay.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Blackberries? I love them. But you sure do have to earn them. Oww! And cleaning them out? What an ordeal that must have been!

    Those dog people who pick up the poop in a baggie and then throw it in the bushes ARE pigs. Yikes.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I know the blackberries very well! To clean them out is a huge and painful job. We have them everywhere here too. I also used to have a lot of dogpoop laying around but its getting better every year now. People are getting more careful with the nature. Nice poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love blackberries, but thankfully, I can let someone else do the picking and purchase them at the grocery store. I have no tolerance for litterbugs! Nice poem!


    • Thanks for reading, Jill. I agree about letting someone else pick them. I have a deal with the Captain, if he picks them, I’ll make something good out of them. Seems to work well. We can also buy them, but they’re VERY expensive. Danger pay, I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Love the blackberries and totally distracted by the plastic poop bag. Who thought that was a better idea than poo? I don’t get it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Generally nature takes care of it and it either dries and crumbles or gets washed into the ground by the rain, but the problems start when you get masses of people taking their dogs to go poop someplace other than their own home.


  11. Boy, you are ambitious, Miss A. I can’t even get my butt out there to dig up the few dead plants in my flower garden.

    All that trash in those vines would Pi&% me off, too. I’d probably put up a sign like; Warning: camera on site to ticket anyone who leaves trash and doesn’t pick up after their pets. 😉

    Hope your scratches and poke heal soon. 💗

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve thought about a trail camera, but then I think, “What’s the point? The people who leave the garbage wouldn’t be fazed by a camera or by being caught in the act.” So now I’ll try to keep the blackberries down and hopefully discourage the disgusting part of our population from throwing out their non-biodegradable garbage.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Natural blackberries. What’s better than that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I bought some domestic blackberry vines that are thornless. They get huge berries, but the flavour is a bit different. Not quite as nice as the wild ones. So yes, what’s better than the natural blackberries? Nothing.


  13. That sounds like it was a lot of hard work to clear. Hopefully that’s the end of messy neighbours .

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I have a huge raspberry bush that gets out of control if I don’t keep up with it. Good for you, Anneli. Shame on those dog owners.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I never understand why anyone – under any conceivable circumstances – can think it okay to bag their dog’s poop and then leave the bag behind. Mess on the ground will at least weather away. Putting it in plastic prolongs its life. Just ridiculous and quite a regular problem here in the UK too.

    I’m in the bramble’s native habitat and they’re welcome around here because they feed my dormice! But as a non-native species, I can imagine that they’re incredibly hard to control. I don’t remember seeing any on the island but perhaps they hadn’t reached Nootka Sound. I remember thimbleberries. Which don’t taste quite as nice!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Blackberries seem to be everywhere, but they do prefer dry and sunny locations, so in a place where you’d find thimbleberries, blackberries are less likely to grow. I think the poopbag people feel obligated to pick up if someone is watching, but then don’t want to carry the stuff with them and so when no one is looking they undo their good deed actions (if putting poop in plastic can be called a good deed) by creating a non-biodegradable litter item rather than letting nature takes its course. I still think it would be better if they let their dogs poop at home and then used a hose to wash it into the ground or buried the stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s