an everyday photo, every day | photography • art • poetry

Mulberry Time

Morning Mulberries

Morning Mulberries

The mulberry tree is heavy with deep purple fruits, each day more ripen and are ready for harvest by me and the many birds and squirrels and chipmunks who can climb the tree and the possum and raccoons and other small creatures who wait for them to fall.

Mulberries

Mulberries

I have three mulberry trees in my yard, and leave the other two entirely for the birds and other animals. This one, however, greets me as I walk down the steps from my deck, inspiring in all seasons.

More berries

More berries

But when the harvest is ready, as the berries slowly ripen, the branches reach lower and lower until their tips touch the ground, the berries are where I can simply reach out to pick them. No other tree I know of does this. I feel as if this mulberry wants me to have its berries.

Ripe mulberries

Ripe mulberries

So I spread a cloth in the grass and shake the branches gently, gathering the ones ripe enough to fall into the cloth. Each day for a week or more I fill my cloth.

On the cloth

On the cloth

From here they go into the stainless steel bowl, and from this bowl to the largest one I have, in the refrigerator, and when the time is right they will become jelly or wine or vinegar or just plain purple juice, great for baking and flavoring things.

Mulberries in the bowl.

Mulberries in the bowl.

The tree also brings its friends, the silkworm caterpillar, which traditionally feeds on mulberry leaves and spins its coccoons near the trees.

Silkworm caterpillar

Silkworm caterpillar

So comforting to see every year. Some think the trees, which grow liberally from seeds the birds have dropped, are pests, but the birds and I are happy.

Mulberries

Mulberries

. . . . . . All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

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10 responses

  1. You sure know how to use the camera. Beautiful.

    June 17, 2015 at 6:07 pm

  2. I love my mulberry tree, actually my neighbor’s but it drops in my garden. It is full of birds and squirrels every day, feasting on the berries. Maybe I will put out a cloth to catch the drop instead of trying to clean them off of the gravel walk – good idea!

    June 14, 2015 at 7:07 am

    • The berries were kind of a pestilence until I read up on them, Composer. Now I look forward to all I can do with this versatile and very old species, and I feel it’s happy I do.

      June 14, 2015 at 9:03 am

  3. maru clavier

    Reblogged this on aminobuana, inc..

    June 14, 2015 at 6:54 am

  4. maru clavier

    Beautiful piece about the renaissance Spring brings around you. and the relationship you have with your yard.
    Here the rainny season is starting and, in a way, the renewal is the same.

    June 14, 2015 at 6:52 am

    • I hope you have something similar to a mulberry where you live Maru!

      June 14, 2015 at 9:01 am

  5. Yep, the birds are swarming and swooping over our tree as well. I’m sure there’s a possum out there as I write (it’s a little past midnight)–the tree will be picked clean within a day or so after the fruit approaches ripeness, and then it’s a day of washing purple bird droppings off everything. No clothes drying on the line during mulberry season.

    June 13, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    • That’s too funny and absolutely true about the laundry and the purple bird droppings! I have a groundhog who loves mulberry leaves and even climbs to low branches to get them, denudes any saplings.

      June 14, 2015 at 12:05 am

  6. Wow, I am happy for you and the birds… And the other animals. It is a cute little story of a mulberry tree’ s lifecycle.. Love the post.

    June 13, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    • Thanks! The jelly is pretty good too.

      June 13, 2015 at 4:18 pm

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