Out of my gourd

Could there be any more quintessential cultural experience of a New England autumn than leaf peeping? That’s the colloquialism for taking a long, slow drive on back roads to look at the changing scenery. It’s long and slow because you’re behind a couple of dozen lost New Yorkers who managed to find their way out of the city and can’t get back until they see a sign for a parkway.

The answer, of course, is to get together with a bunch of friends, bring some hot casseroles and cold beer, and give the little kids some sharp, serrated tools and some permanent markers, and have a pumpkin carving party. Some family friends have one every year, and each year it seems that there are more and more little children. I’m pretty sure that most of them manage not to get lost in the woods or fall into the deep part of the stream.

Pumpkin Party 2007

Here’s a few shots from this year’s party. Some of the adults revert to childhood and vie to carve the most grotesque visages that can be imagined. Despite the abundant amount of alcohol, injuries are rare.

They also fire up the Farm-All tractor and a couple of dozen people at a time will pile into the hay wagon for a three hour tour twenty minute trip around the farm. You’d think that the hay bales are merely for ambiance, but really they’re an excellent shock absorber for when that wagon is bouncing around the tractor ruts and over rocks. This is a real New England farm, and not one of those tourist attractions; and be sure to watch your boots after walking through the horse fields.

Naturally, a good time was had by all, and we’ll remember this for the next couple of months, until we have the next New England tradition: the wreath-making party.

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