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The Great (Carved) Pumpkin

‘Tis the season of poorly constructed 300 thread count ghosts and cheap plastic goblin masks, of thoughtless overindulgence of candy corn and gummi worms, and of course, the creepy but warming orange glow of hundreds of hollowed gourds.  Yes, it’s Halloween again, one of the more unique American holidays, a day filled with as intricate preparations and celebrations as any other non-governmental holiday warrants.  In our particular case, this has included several previously documented trips to the pumpkin patch, a recent Mom’s group playdate of which I am only privy to a few hastily snapped pictures (non-members were not allowed, let alone working spouses), and a relatively disastrous Boo at the Zoo.

But last weekend, we traveled a ways up north to attend a rather unique event with a few friends, the annual Enchanted Beaver Lake, a festival of lights the likes we had never seen before.  Beaver Lake is a county park in central New York, based not surprisingly around a lake, possibly filled with beavers.  As such it features a rather sizable nature center, and several trails that wind through the woods, ostensibly for “city-folk” like myself to “get me some nature.”

But this particular night, the park was transformed instead into a maze of Jack o’ Lanterns, hundreds in fact, that lined the two trails that wound through the dark forest.  It was actually a spectacular experience, for we were pretty deep in the pitch black woods, guided only by the glowing remains of these hacked gourds, featuring carved visages of every conceivably variety.  Pop culture icons, cartoon characters, ghoulish figures, gap toothed faces, even NFL and MLB logos graced these orange orbs, each providing a small beacon of light in an impenetratable forest.

Justine, for her part, was not particularly a fan of this whole affair.  This was partially our fault, because it was well after her bedtime before we even hit the first trail, and partly her fault for normally heading to bed so early.  It also became apparent that dragging your 18 month old toddler into the dark, dank woods with only ghostly images as a source of light was not a particularly good idea.  But we muddled through, enjoying it despite her protests.  And we were able to get her to sit next to a few of them, the rather intricate dragon pictured below my favorite of the bunch.

Happy Halloween!

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  • http://www.pjmullen.com PJ Mullen

    Oh, and here I thought that you had carved all those pumpkins out and decorated your backyard. Very cool, though. I'm with you, our little man wouldn't have been into that either. He got scared by a tickle me elmo at toys r us the other day.

  • http://www.pjmullen.com/ PJ Mullen

    Oh, and here I thought that you had carved all those pumpkins out and decorated your backyard. Very cool, though. I'm with you, our little man wouldn't have been into that either. He got scared by a tickle me elmo at toys r us the other day.