The wild blackberries, actually trailing dewberries, are ripe and ready for picking.  

You can find them along fences and in open fields throughout the area.  Dr. Charlie Graham with the LSU Ag Center says they grow all over the south and, to many, are considered to be nothing more than a weed.  To others, they're considered a springtime delicacy.

Before you go berry-picking, Dr. Graham has a couple of suggestions.  First, take a long stick or pole and poke around the plants before you just reach in.  He says you might find a snake curled up under the plant.  Also, he says be prepared to get "stuck" or at least scratched because the plants do have thorns.  Also he says you should wash the berries thoroughly before eating or cooking with them.

The other day, I picked a big bowl of them right out in front of the radio station.  I washed them thoroughly and spread them out on paper towels to dry.   Then I put them in a clean bowl, sprinkled a little bit of sugar on them, and enjoyed them for the rest of the afternoon.

photo by John Lee, KEEL News