As I walked out (one late summer afternoon), I spied brambles on the rough ground by the canal. They stretched their spiny arms through the fence that keeps unwanted visitors out and tried to tempt me with their rainbow of berries. The green drupelets had the first blush of colour’s change upon them. Others were a bruised red, but some were already the dark purple that stains teeth and lips and tastes good in a crumble with custard (purple is a fruit). I resisted their pleading and walked on. But not before I paused to take their photograph. The curled, brown, scabby remains of flowers not yet swollen into berries dotted the rainbow cluster like a pox. Flowers like these are such tragic creations. Blowsy in their first flush, sending out perfume as a signal to bees to come hither and pollenate, they descend rapidly into crabby old age, all brown and wizened, before their swollen bellies metamorphose into brambles. But then, what joy those brambles bring with their sharp taste of the end of summer, their warmth of the start of autumn. Perhaps in a few days, when the blush has passed through red to purple, I will return.