I’m on deadline today, so this post is going to be of the 10-minute variety. But pay attention because this may be the only time I give you more than a week’s notice about anything. My important announcement is this: the mulberries are almost ready. In the Boston area, that is. Don’t miss them!
On a jog earlier this week along the Charles with my friend K, I noticed a few mulberry-looking trees. The berries looked like elongated black raspberries on bramble-less branches that had slightly shiny, heart-shaped leaves with serrated edges. Some leaves had a notch out of one side that made them look like children’s mittens. Since there wasn’t any oxygen getting to my brain, I shoved a few leaves into my pocket for later identification. Turns out, they were indeed mulberry trees.
So today I went back for another run. Lacking anything more appropriate, I grabbed one of the kids’ Easter baskets from the top of a closet as I left. I know I said I would never eat anything out of the disgusting Charles River, but these trees were only near the Charles. On the other side of the path that runs along the Charles. Also, finders-keepers. I jogged along with my Easter basket in hand, tailing some goldfinches, and, holy crap, there are a shit-ton of mulberry bushes along the river. I noticed at least 10 on my little bridge-to-bridge loop. Some of them were giant. Unfortunately, the berries were not ripe, yet. Most of them were still white or pinkish-red. There were some blackish ones, but when I got up close, I realized that they were just dark purple tinged with red and not quite ready. And the really, really black ones were just bird poop. You only make that mistake once.
Long story short, I had to jog back empty-handed. Well, except for the basket. Now if you’re jogging with a big basket full of ripe, juicy berries, you might be considered a hero by a select few, like the old Russian ladies with babushkas who nod knowingly as you pass or some young person with wildish hair, but, let me tell you something. If you’re tripping down the path with a brightly colored, plastic Easter basket that’s completely empty, accidentally humming nursery rhymes, you just look like an all-purpose moron.