Sunday, August 12, 2007

Cryptic Coreid, Bitter Blackberries

Ripening blackberries

The blackberries are scarce this year, and the ones I've found are small and bitter. That doesn't seem to matter to this coreid nymph, who is cryptic indeed among the blighted blackberry leaves.

Coreid nymph on blackberry leaves

Longtime Pocahontas County residents recall a time when people picked blackberries by the gallon. Jim Comstock rhapsodized on blackberry season in West Virginia, and how it provided abundant fruit for any person energetic enough to go berry picking. Those days seem behind us in Pocahontas County, perhaps because the forest has returned to land logged and burned in the early twentieth century. The trees have simply shaded out the blackberries, huckleberries, and wild strawberries. Deer browsing may also play a role, but I've noticed blackberry canes and huckleberry bushes are still abundant--they're just sterile.

Blackberry blossoms

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