This has turned out to be a bad year for blackberries. Not only are the berries very late in ripening, but they are small and dry. Indeed many of them seem to have given up on the notion of ripening altogether and remain as small green and shriveled up husks of summer disremembered.
Despite spending almost an hour searching through the local hedgerows this morning my efforts only produced enough fruit to half fill a very small bowl. If a heavy crop of blackberries is nature telling us that a hard winter is in the offing then I think that the 2013/14 winter is likely to be one of the mildest on record! Mind you that would be a fair exchange.