Berries, bucks and me

When I pick berries it is not in the carefully laid out rows of a commercial operation. It is out on the edges of our fields and rife with the potential for difficulty and excitement.  There are wild rose bushes to grab skin, hair and clothes and while the blackberry bushes are not quite as lethal, they are not much better.  Then there are the chiggers.  For anyone who does not know, these little mites will drive you to distraction with a red bump and serious itching that lasts for days.  I’ve never seen a snake, but I’m sure I came close a time or two and didn’t know it.

The rapidly approaching blackberry season and the appearance of the first fawn in the yard put me in mind of an adventure my Great Pyrenees mix and I shared some years ago at our last home.  Like here, it had large fields surrounded by black raspberry and blackberry bushes where I was able to pick gallons and gallons of freshly ripened fruit.   She loved to accompany me on my meanderings around the fields, relaxing in the shade when I found a patch to pick.  We  were lazily moving  down the edge of the woods to a little outcrop that was mostly berry bushes and a few smaller scrubby trees.   We had been out about an hour, me juggling three buckets half filled with fruit and her following. 

Suddenly, directly in front of me, a large buck with a huge rack leapt out of the underbrush.  Leaves, branches and who knows what else went flying though the air in all directions as he crashed out of his supposedly hidden bedding spot.  We must have jumped about three feet into the air.  Brandy was so surprised she didn’t make a sound – not even a woof.  We looked on in startled silence as the huge buck bounded away, his sleep rudely disturbed and with vines and underbrush hanging from his large rack.  It was quite a sight.   Brandy looked back at me as if to say What Just Happened?  All I could say was Wow!  After we caught our breaths and our hearts started to beat again, we continued on with the picking, once again treated to the wonders of nature all around us.

Resting does

I’m taking a short break from the art experiments right now for a very good reason.  I just started on a commission home portrait of a cute town home that will take me into the weekend or thereabouts.  I’ll post it when I’m done.

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lesliepaints
    Jul 27, 2011 @ 23:57:42

    I have startled a deer or two but never a buck like that! …and I wasn’t berry picking but riding one of my horses back in the day. I usually didn’t get to see the deer’s retreat as I was trying to calm the horse. 🙂 Can’t wait to see the town home!!


  2. ruthsartwork
    Jul 28, 2011 @ 08:43:07

    When I had my horse at home, we did scare up a few deer. And a few rabbits ran through her feet. She is a wonderful, sane and calm, but never dull, quarter horse. I think I usually jumped more than she did. Fortunately, a spook for her was only about an inch jump. She never tossed me and always took good care of me no matter the situation.


    • lesliepaints
      Jul 28, 2011 @ 10:27:55

      I trained horses for quite some time in my younger years. I would take them to the bridle trails at a state park, near where I live, to help to quiet them around sites such as deer and other riders, bikes and the like. They had land bridges over water and areas where we could practice walking over a stream, etc. I, too, had a horse that was quiet like yours for my personal enjoyment and she was a plantation pleasure horse. I miss those days.


  3. ruthsartwork
    Jul 28, 2011 @ 14:18:40

    How much fun would that be. Lady was my first horse at 40 and our daughter’s at 13. She is a great first horse. Calm but not dull and trained to Prix St George in dressage. We all learned so much from her. Alas, her quarter horse knees have given out and I can’t ride her anymore. I just groom and graze her now for both our enjoyment. She has a great heart.


  4. asmalltowndad
    Jul 28, 2011 @ 17:09:19

    If I read somewhere correctly you live in southern Indiana, I live in the south west part of Indiana and there must be more of us Indiana artist than I thought. You do fabulous work, and I’m glad that I found your blog.


    • ruthsartwork
      Jul 29, 2011 @ 20:13:22

      You are right. I live in rural Monroe County about an hour or so south of Indianapolis. It has been great to meet so many Indiana artists here on wordpress. A wonderful surprise. I enjoyed visiting your blog too. Beautiful watercolors with the pen and ink. I like experimenting with the inks and various color overlays, as you could probably tell.


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