Blackberry season joins our ever-growing list of the coolest things about Vancouver. The window is closing right about now (late August) across the Lower Mainland (trust me, there’s still some out there), but when it’s in full swing there’s a special light that shines over urban foragers and the thorny bushes they poke around in, a light that makes pickers feel like kids again, complete with purple-stained lips and fingertips. It’s a season within a season, one that marks the highpoint of Vancouverites’ inability to recall the last time it rained. Those who appreciate and anticipate it have their secret go-to patch(es) that they raid to make everything from delicious pies and jams to smoothies and cocktail syrups, enduring scrapes and competition in the sweet-smelling process. Just remember the first rule of blackberry season: Never tell anyone where your patch is!