Friday, November 16, 2007

Country Pumpkins

When we decided to move to the Midwest our goal was to get here by the time the leaves started turning to the golds, reds, yellows, and oranges we enjoyed so much while visiting last year. We made it, but found that autumn was unseasonably warm so leaves stayed green much longer than expected. While waiting for the colors the temperatures remained in the 70's vs the 50's. By the end of October Mother Nature had to speed things up so, without waiting for the usual hard freeze, she shut off the chloryphyl --- zap! Not long after that the leaves turned mushy colors, mostly brown. Add to that a day of heavy showers to weigh the leaves down, then 3 days of strong winds and you have very bare trees! The effect was that of a curtain slowly opening to show the surprises on the stage behind. Now revealed is the beautiful Hummingbird Inn Bed & Breakfast, a gently sloping meadow, and the next ridge to the west.

One of the joys of fall is picking out pumpkins. I was surprised at how lavishly people decorate for autumn, not just Halloween. Not totally in the swing of things yet, I did manage to pick out three perfect pumpkins and display them proudly around the lamp post. Because of all the Christmas shows in the theaters here, autumn decorations quickly change from pumpkins and cornstalks to bright lights and festive trees. Thus came our cue to change out the pumpkins for pine boughs. Jerry, curious about the trajectory a perfect pumpkin would take down our hill and into the ravine, took up lawn bowling with one. The pumpkin took a straight, fast run into the ravine. The big score was hearing how long it took to reach the bottom of the ravine. The sound of leaves rustling as the pumpkin rolled through them gave way to fading crashes into an abyss far deeper than we knew! It was like scenes in the movies when the bad guys are thrown into the bottomless pit --- without the screaming. We may have to explore the secrets of our ravine -- or not.

So much for the smashing pumpkins! I just hope that the critters of the ravine are able to munch on them for Thanksgiving.

No comments: