Picking Blackberries

This year brought a vintage crop of wild blackberries to our garden. Unfortunately, they are on thorny vines that have some of the biggest, meanest and sharpest thorns I’ve ever seen. Even the thorns on our roses aren’t as mean as the blackberry vines. We don’t eat them and our neighbors aren’t fans of trying to fight with the thorns. So, they’re left to the birds, and unfortunately, the snakes.

picking-blackberriesI thought I would share with you this charming drawing from an 1881 edition of Harper’s Young People. Harper’s was a weekly children’s magazine that was often filled with stories, puzzles and illustrations. It’s a shame that so many of the wonderful drawings were not that great for our purposes. I had been blaming the folks who had scanned the pieces. When I finally added a few additions of this magazine to my own collection, I learned that many of the engravings were simply not well printed.

Fortunately, a number of the issues included illustrations that were designed for the children to color in and make their own. This little girl picking blackberries was from an August edition. How fitting, just two days before August that I would be able to share this children’s drawing with you.

In this unattributed drawing we have a little girl, who appears to be using her hat as a basket. She has clearly been enjoying the berries as she takes a swipe at her mouth. No doubt her mother or nanny will be upset about the stained hat and likely stained dress. But, oh, how the juicy blackberries must be worth whatever punishment will be meted out.

This image is copyright free and in the public domain anywhere that extends copyrights 70 years after death or at least 120 years after publication when the original illustrator is unknown.