Monday, August 07, 2006

Dances with Wasps

I've always had a bit of a problem working out what wasps are actually for. This afternoon, particularly. I had a phone call yesterday from Kate, who lives in Waterbeach Hall, which comes with a wonderful old garden which includes a mulberry tree. The mulberries are now ripe and it was an invite to come and pick some.... Being a bad blogger, I didn't take my camera to take pics of the house, the garden, the tree or the stroppy black-and-white cat which sat and commented on my efforts throughout... So, it was me, the tree, the cat, many thousands of lacewings, very many moths; and several hundred wasps. The wasps and I decided to bide by some sort of uneasy truce. I didn't nick the fruit they were actually sitting on, and they didn't sting me...

I had already had a Bit of a Day today, largely courtesy of Burtons Buses, who run what's laughingly called the Sunday Service. Suffice it to say that I set out for the supermarket 2 hours later than intended due to non-appearance of bus, and then ended up having to walk the 4 miles back, the return service apparently being beneath them... A Strong Letter is being composed.

However, it's amazing how quickly anger and frustration dissipates when doing something peaceful and constructive like picking fruit... And here it is, 2 kg of mulberries. [I won't show the growing bruise on my calf where I failed to drag my second leg up onto the low wall; but the colour is similar...]


Reassurance - no ladybirds were harmed in the making of this jelly - I filched this one out of the mulberries as soon as I saw it in the camera lens...

Here's the amazing colour of the juice boiling;

and here are the 8 jars of jelly...

6 comments:

Sue said...

Oh, that takes me back to my childhood in Sydney! The suburb where I used to live had mulberry trees as street trees. The footpaths were covered in purple splodges every summer. Of course, we used to pick and eat them and get a right royal telling off when we came home with mulberry stains on out clothes. Well, you see, they were rather good fun to throw at each other too... :-)

E-J said...

Guests, folk fest, teaching, knitting and now jam-making ... I really think you could you have fitted a bit more into the past 10 days ...

The beaded cashmere shawl's looking great now, despite the frustrating start.

Mary-Lou said...

Oooooh, mulberries! Haven't seen them for years. Like Sue it really takes me back to my childhood, but the tree I remember was right outside my headmistress's office, so no misbehaving with them ...

Thinking about it, bet they'd make a good dye as well

Rosie said...

I remember asking my dad what wasps were for: "BREEDING MORE WASPS", said he, though he added afterwards that they were one of nature's chief scavengers. I can vouch for that, having seen a mid-air battle between a wasp and a butterfly (it lasted about 10 minutes): horrid, I can still remember the sound of the wasp tearing the butterfly's wings, then crunching (the sound really echoes in a narrow alleyway). Still, as the conservation manager used to say when I worked for a wildlife trust "isn't nature wonderful?"

Sorry to hear about your nightmare Sunday "bus service" though, Sunday is the only day when you can rely on the buses in Girton (and they take you all the way to the railway station, too).

Mary deB said...

Very good with the berries and jelly! Wasps are the reason my husband and I can't agree on what to grow in the back yard -- he wants the cover of grapes, I don't want the fruit and the wasps!

Liz said...

Ta all for comments; and having pulled washing out of the machine in the last few minutes, I just want to comment that mulberries have nothing on Tescos dark red sheets for dyeing properties - I now have some beautiful pink dishcloths....