For whatever reason, raspberry patches here in Madison are practically exploding with berries this year. We faithfully pick a bowl full of raspberries for our cereal each morning and we still managed to fall behind our crop.

A bountiful raspberry harvest.

Over the Fourth, we bit the bullet, picked raspberries for quite a while, and came up with enough to make a batch of raspberry jam. It was hot work to make jam in the middle of summer, but it was the best way to get many of our raspberries off the canes and into storage. Even after making jam we still had enough left to freeze several pints of berries. In addition, we're still eating a bowl full each morning with breakfast. There doesn't appear to be any end in sight as the summer-bearing canes are still fruiting and our fall-bearing canes have started to blossom.

This is the fourth year we've gotten raspberries since planting the canes and the production is simply off the chart. Even considering what we lose to the Japanese beetles we're still far, far ahead.

Other than making jam, we took it easy on the Fourth this year. We tried to take in a movie at one of the local cineplexes, but the film burned up while they were showing the commercials at the start of the show so we got free passes and left. Since we biked over to the theatre, we took advantage of the time to take a relaxed ride through some neighborhoods that we rarely visit. We got home in time to grab a blanket, some water, and the dog before walking up the street a bit to watch fireworks.

We recently volunteered to serve as trail stewards for a section of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail near our home. As trail stewards we walk the trail with some regularity, trim back annoying branches, pick up litter, and report back any major problems (tree down, trail flooded, bridge needs repair, etc.) to those who can direct the actions of work crews with more manpower and machinery than we possess. It's relatively easy work considering we'd be out on the trail year-round anyway. It just means that we carry a trash bag, work gloves, and clippers in addition to all the other stuff we carry. Since it is so hot here today (heat index readings around 100), we went first thing this morning when the weather was cooler.

After working on the trail, we dropped Dalla off at home and drove out to the Middleton Airport for an EAA pancake breakfast. The food was decent and there were some interesting planes there to see. I didn't have my camera with me, so I don't have any photos, unfortunately.