The wild raspberries are on at my house. They are plentiful, and thanks to all the recent rain, they are huge. Sweet and juicy. I take the dogs out for a walk along the river, and while they chase marmots in the rocks, I pick raspberries. It would be tough to get a bowl of them. There are just enough to be able to get a handful every few yards of the walk, so that when one is gone, there is another ready to eat. I've tried planting domestic berries in the yard. They don't get enough sun so there are big bushes with very little fruit. The wild bushes along the river, where they get plenty of sun, have just gone crazy.

They aren't always easy to get. The bushes have sharp little thorns on them, and there is a fair amount of nasty thistle growing in among the berries. It takes some care to pick them without getting sliced up in the process. It's pretty obvious that something else is also picking them, or eating the tips off the bushes. I'm guessing the deer are munching on the bushes, but it wouldn't be terribly surprising to find bear tracks. I don't see bear at my house often. But a guy from Wildlife Resources told me that doesn't mean that bear aren't seeing me all the time. So far, I'm only sharing the berries with the deer, moose, and an occasional neighbor.

Most of my neighbors think eating wild raspberries right off the bush is highly suspect. If they haven't been cycled through Whole Foods and come in a properly labeled container, they aren't sure they want to eat it.


How do I know those are raspberries and not some kind of toxic imitation that will bring on a slow, painful death? Could be Ebola berries for all we know. Well, I've been eating them for 60 years now with no ill effects. The neighbors aren't convinced, and they walk by, mostly not even noticing the feast put before them, waiting to buy a container of moldy berries at the farm stand, or rubbery, taste-free berries from the grocery store. Good for them. That's more for me, the moose and the bear.

Congress has gone on vacation for five weeks. They come back for about 10 days in September before taking all of October off to campaign for re-election. They put in a token appearance again in November before breaking for Christmas. Good work if you can get it. Of course, when they are in session, they are on strike. The work stoppage over the last six years has been almost complete, so sending them off on vacation doesn't make a whole lot of difference.

Before leaving they attempted to do something about the children arriving at the border in need of all kinds of help. Current law requires the kids to have a hearing prior to deporting them. The hearing is to see if they are entitled to some kind of asylum status under our laws. There are nearly 60,000 of the kids now, all requiring food, shelter, supervision, and medical care for all those typical kid sicknesses. If the hearing takes four hours per kid (pretty quick considering language and comprehension issues), that turns into a full-time job for 120 judges, who have other stuff to do. It would take a full year to work through the kids here now. The kids will probably get hungry in that time, and need a place to sleep. Some of them will outgrow their shoes.

So Obama asked for a couple of billion to deal with the problem. The House Republicans thought $600 million or so would cover it. But in the end, Congress couldn't even approve that. The toddlers of mass destruction were denounced as the worst kinds of criminals, and one guy went so far as to suggest that they were going to infect us all with Ebola. A reasonable bill failed, an unreasonable bill couldn't get enough votes. So in the end, the House passed a full-on crazy bill, knowing that the Senate wouldn't consider it and Obama would veto it if by some accident it did pass. And then they went home.

They told the president to deal with it by executive action. And then they filed a lawsuit to prevent the president from taking executive action on other things. After solving all those problems, it was time to pack it in and take a well-deserved vacation. Ninety-five percent of these idiots will be re-elected in November. 

But the raspberries are on, and if I take a walk early in the morning, I can get a healthy serving with the dew still on them. And by evening, there will be another batch ripe and ready to pick after dinner.

Tom Clyde practiced law in Park City for many years. He lives on a working ranch in Woodland and has been writing this column since 1986.