I looked down a little path the other day during my walk just in time to see a beaver scurrying into the lush undergrowth. I followed him and discovered a forest full of wild black raspberries. The berries slid off easily between my fingers, and the centers were hollowed out–my proof that they were raspberries, not blackberries. They were small but sweet, and I quickly consumed a dozen or so. The forest floor was active–leaves rustled everywhere I looked; chipmunks, rabbits, and mice must be enjoying the fruit, too.
I returned later with a container and gathered enough berries for our morning yogurt and to make these muffins. I didn’t gather for about a week, but yesterday I went back for more and discovered the berries to be much more sparse.
Black raspberries may still be in season for you, but hurry–they’re fading fast! The berries appear in early summer, but have a very short season (about three weeks). You can find them over most of the United States, except the deep South. Look along roadsides or fields, or the edge of forests (they won’t be too far in). The berries grow on thorny shoots that stand about three to five feet high. Unripe berries are red and hard. The ripe ones are dark reddish-black and very soft and will come off easily if pinched gently between two fingers.