Now is the time to pick blackberries before the Devil fouls them.
In Scotland it is on the Old Style Holy Rood Day that he poisons the
either spitting or urinating on them.
'Oh Weans! Oh Weans! the morn's the Fair
Ye may na eat the berries mair
This nicht the Devil gangs ower them a'
To touch them with his pooshioned paw'
In England he does not foul the berries until Old Michaelmas ( 10th Oct)
Holy Rood Day which is known as Mid Autumn in the Highlands of Scotland
is traditionally the beginning of the mating season for deer.
It is also traditional at this time for young women to gather St Michaels wild
carrot; forked roots were especially lucky, tied into bunches they were
presented to male visitors on Michaelmas Day.
The carrots had to be gathered in a certain way, first by digging a triangular
hole around the plant, signifying St Michael's shield, using a three pronged
mattock which signified St Michael's trident.
'Cleft, fruitful, fruitful, fruitful,
Joy of carrots surpassing upon me,
Michael the brave endowing me
Bride the fair be aiding me'