My forage jaunt in summer … checking out the berries … !

1st August was Swiss National Day … and as the day was sunny enough, I decided that it would be a perfect day for me to go and do a little foraging. I missed not being able to do so while I was away in Singapore for several weeks … although I have to say that I was very happy to discover two ‘nature’s treasures’ on my recent home visit which are free for the taking! 🙂

Anyway, when the hubby told me that he intended to go to Signal de Sauvabelin (a lookout point) to enjoy the lake view from there on Swiss National Day, I decided to come along … so that I could do a little foraging in the nearby woods while we were in the area. Summer is the perfect time to forage for certain fruit and berries … and since I could no longer enjoy picking raspberries from our balcony as their season has finished, I decided that I should try my luck in the woods of Sauvabelin as I had seen a lot of blackberry plants in the midst of flowering when I went there in spring to forage for some elderflowers.

(And if you wonder whether or not I managed to find any elderflowers during my spring forage in the woods … indeed I did. But after having spent hours searching for elderflowers in the woods, I came home only to realise that there were a few elder trees in the midst of flowering growing hidden closer to home! ish, ish, ish … 🙂 )

So, armed with plastic containers to put whatever berries that I might find during my forage, we set out on our walk to Signal de Sauvabelin.

I did not have to walk far before I spotted something that caught my interest very close to home.

No, not berries … but they were also free for the taking, nevertheless!

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I had not noticed them in this particular field before … but after having learnt to identify this particular herb during our excursions to see the narcissi in spring … I am now able to spot this herb a mile away! (errr, okay, that is an exaggeration … but I have no problem spotting and identifying them easily now! 😉 )

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These little plants are wild thyme. Their little lilac flowers are a dead give-away at this time of the year when they are in full bloom.

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I spotted more of them when we were at Signal de Sauvabelin.

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Close-up of the wild thyme in bloom at Signal de Sauvabelin. I just adore the smell of this herb. In fact, I had uprooted some when I first spotted them during our walks to the mountains to check out the narcissus (I went a little over-excited when I first realised what the plant was!) … but the plants did not take off when I planted them in the pot. I tried again when I uprooted some from the ones I spotted in the open area below our place and they did not take off either! Haizzz … so maybe I have to leave them to grow in the wild as their name suggests lah! 😦

And then just before we entered the woods of Sauvabelin, I caught another plant growing on the sides which piqued my interest.

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Covered with small lilac blooms (almost similar to wild thyme), this plant looked very familiar … because I had seen them when I was looking up pictures of wild thyme to verify the identity of the herb that I had spotted.

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And upon smelling them … my guess was right. I had finally managed to find the elusive wild marjoram! What a treat … 🙂

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It was tempting to uproot the plant and bring some home to grow but I decided to leave them in peace … for now. Now that I know where to find them, I can always go back if I want to pick them! hehehe …

So did I find my berries on that day?

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Indeed, there were plenty of blackberries … only that most of them had not yet ripen! Except for one or two small bushes.

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But as long as I was able to find some to bring home … I was one happy forager!

SAM_8453AAs this particular bush with some ripen berries was on a steep slope … the hubby had to come to the rescue and he helped me to pick them. But I got to pick some when we found several along a newly discovered path.

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And this was my blackberry bounty for that day. Although they were not that many … but, to me, the day had been a most successful foraging day … because I had found other great stuff as well. In addition to the wild thyme and wild marjoram, I also spotted other nature’s treasures. But that story (and the photos) is for another entry lah.

I think this year has been and will continue to be THE year for foraging for me … as I have spotted a lot of good and free stuff all within walking distance from home! The question now is finding the time and motivation to share the story and photos of all the free treasures that I have been blessed to enjoy this year. However, I shall try my best to do so.

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