bentrovato (bentrovato) wrote,

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Blackberry Blossoms

The blackberry bush in the backyard is in its sophomore year this spring and seems to be flourishing. There are lots of buds on the arching canes and some already open white flowers with clusters of stamens. I read that we should tie it to a trellis to get the most out of it. Certainly I see that is true of the raspberry bush in the same garden bed. It has sent a shoot underground to emerge a few feet away - where the lawnmower might get it. No raspberry blossoms yet.

Something has moved me to take up violin practice again. I manage to do a little bit most days - often between five and six in the morning. The promising developments in the yard made me look up "Blackberry Blossom," a tune that I knew the name of without knowing the melody by heart. Something was just not clicking - I was going painfully slow and experiencing lots of tuning problems. Then one day I started whistling a tune to myself and realized that it was "Blackberry Blossom". Hearing it thus at normal speed I could understand the shape and flow of it. Playing it on the violin has since become a matter of closer and closer approximations to the ideal rather than groping towards the ideal. Another seasonally appropriate tune is "Sweets of May" - a dance popular in the county Armagh, the notes inform me. It's a swinging 6/8 as opposed to the brisk 4/4 of the other.

The other crop of interest is hops. Two of the three rhizomes I buried last year have survived to struggle upward. These I know need to be trained on wires. I'll get to that and hope to flavor my own beer this fall. I had a disastrous run of bad beers this winter. A small investment in a new bucket and spigot seems to have made a difference, however. The other lesson from recent experience is to allow sufficient time (six weeks at least) for conditioning in the bottle.

Hey, I'm back on the bike and running some, too. More about that on the next post, assuming I keep it up.
Tags: blackberries, fiddling, hops, raspberries
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