Pumpkin Time

We returned to a splendid and sunny October. Leaves turned gold and red and orange as they drifted on the wind, skittered along sidewalks and roads, and came to rest in crunchy heaps. Days shorten, but orange twinkle lights and illuminated pumpkin lanterns glow in dark of evening.

Real pumpkins appear everywhere! They decorate front porches and steps and perch on fenceposts. Hundreds of pumpkins, destined to be jack-o’-lanterns, created an enormous tilted mountain (diminished daily), outside the grocery store – every possible size and shape of orange pumpkin and also an oddball, Halloween-y variety, gnarly with dark green lumps. At Bloedel Reserve, a whole host of elaborately shaped squashes and gourds sit on tree branches and cluster at tree bases.

And at our house – a bounty of pumpkins and squash from those few little plants! After waiting for the stems to turn brown and leaves to collapse, I harvested, and now sugar snap pumpkins (to stretch the pie season) and delicata squash (for the Thanksgiving table) line up on a slatted bench in our unheated garage.

I exchanged squash for tart apples, from the tree of a gardener I met on my walk, left some on friends’ doorsteps and car hoods, and gave pumpkins to my neighbors who also make pie.

And best of all – I sent pumpkins north and pumpkins south to three little people excited about the season! (I’ve heard we have in the family a fairy with glittery pink wings, Batman, and, this one I can’t wait to see, a drivable piece of heavy equipment.)

Enjoy the visiting goblins and superheroes tomorrow – and maybe some pumpkin pie!

9 thoughts on “Pumpkin Time

  1. Mystery solved! Thank you, Katy, for the wonderful Squash left at my door. It was such a treat – as was our beautiful fall! – Jane

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. What a thrill to be able to raise your own pumpkins! One of the things I love about being in Portland at this time of year is the abundance of pumpkins. Mara and family went to the pumpkin patch and brought home a porch load of all sizes and shapes and gave us four little ones for our porch railing. I put them out last Tuesday evening, and when I went outside in the morning there were three large carved jack-o-lanterns keeping them company! The girls upstairs had done them. My poor lonely pumpkin here in Alaska looks shocked at the cold and snow.

    • I liked that story about the pumpkins sprouting overnight! And I know the snow’s a mess, icy roads, etc, but envy you that first snowfall – I used to love how it changed the light and brought about holiday excitement.

  3. You have captured the pleasures of the season perfectly! Helen and Nick had several volunteer pumpkins that grew in their rubbish pile! I carved a green one, and learned it had almost nothing inside— no seeds, no seed-nurturing thready mush (what IS that stuff called) — and was thus very easy to carve. I may go solidly green hereafter! Jack will be a lumberjack, but do give us a sketch of the heavy equipment costume. We have watched a sidewalk renovation and road resurfacing project all summer, and today the road will be paved. Thrilling! We’ll miss the friendly crew, but we have several books with depictions of construction that will remain. Jack LOVES them.

    • What is that obsession with heavy equipment, I’ll be curious to see if it morphs into some adult interest for both these boys – maybe in your case will be construction – the part designing and telling the diggers where to dig? The publishing industry certainly recognizes the market and provides satisfying books – so very many and so interesting these days. Must have been great to have construction right nearby. Have fun today with the lumberjack – bet that’s cute!

  4. Lovely read to hear about your new garden of pumpkins and your new neighbors. You were and are the best neighbor anyone could hope for….now I have the next generation as neighbors who are equally wonderful, but still not you. I’ll be on the plane heading home from Prauge on Halloween night and will miss the chance to see the kids all dressed for trick or treating….. Do send pictures!

  5. Beautiful pictures! I had to make do with some store bought pumpkins as the deer and/or groundhogs made off with my garden ones.

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