A wild raspberry bramble colonized a corner of the backyard some years ago. How did it get there? Er, process of elimination?? None of our near neighbors grow raspberries. And these are no pampered garden escapes with gracilis three-foot canes, but tough survivors with arching ten-foot canes, thicker than a U.S. 19 (15 mm) knitting needle and studded with fearsome thorns - even the tenderest leaves have barbs sharp as felting needles on their undersides.
Despite its wicked armaments, I always keep a fondly greedy eye on it. When almost ripe, the small berries are brilliant red, bright as beadwork. When fully ripe, they're dusky purple-red and it's not so much a matter of picking them as gently easing the fragile bejeweled thimbles off their cores.
Last Saturday this cluster was two days from perfection.
Two days later: alas, the treasure did not the escape the notice of others!
It took all week, but I finally have blurry pix of two of the culprits. They're fast – a little too fast for my digicam, but you get the general idea. On the left there's a hungry catbird. And the Audubon guide claims they're insectivores and beneficial to gardeners!
On the right there's a contortionist squirrel. The thorns discourage arborial raiding, so she stretches impossibly high from the ground while maintaining a precarious balance to claim her prize.
And the razzies* go to – not to me, not this year.
*Disclaimer: These wild razzies are not affiliated with the Golden Raspberry Awards, known as Razzies™.