This past weekend officially started the fall season for my family. “But Misty,” you say, “fall started a good 4 weeks ago!” And to that, I would say . . . “Hey! Who are you, and how did you get into my living room?” But after that, I would agree, that calendarily (totally created that just now . . . I kinda like it. Thinking it will catch on), Autumn has in fact been with us for a full month. However, our Autumn thus far has been incredibly warm. Also, I just commented to the hubs last week that even though it was mid-October, none of the leaves had started changing yet, and what on earth were they waiting for? And then this past week . . . Blam-O! Fall colors. Chilly temps. Autumn is here!
So, to take advantage of this most fall like weather and colors, we decided to take the kids to the pumpkin patch on Saturday morning. It was a brilliant day . . . warm, but with a little nip in the air, sunny and beautiful. We go to the same farm every year, just a few miles from our home. They have huge fields full of pumpkins, and also any other assorted crop you could think of . . . apples, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, beets, etc. But this time of year is the best, because they also have hayrides that go through the woods, booths set up with apple fritters and cider, and a hay maze. Not to mention the huge barn filled with goodies such as apple butter (yum!), apple cider, apples, breads, sauces, veggies, and other sundry items.
We always start our day at the farm with a hayride. The boys love it because it travels beside a huge man-made lake that has a couple of sea-monsters in it (look, we found Nessie!), and then goes through a wooded area with big paper mache figures depicting Shrek and co., Harry Potter and friends, and all of the creatures from the 100 Acre Woods. Lots of fun, and not at all scary, so it’s perfect for my kids.
After the hayride, we then moved on to the most delicious part of the day . . . apple fritters and apple cider. Yummy! So, as we are waiting patiently in line for our fritters, 2 of the teenaged girls who had previously been serving them, come running out and perform a rap about fritters. Yep, I’ll let that one sink in a bit. Two very very white teenaged girls came running out and started rapping about the fritters, complete with an ending flourish of crossed arms and leaning against each other . . . gangsta style. When it first started, I think I was in some sort of shock, and then I turned to my husband and said, “why am I not recording this?” Such a missed opportunity. It was brilliantly bizarre and awful!
After we had been fully frittered, we were off to the Hay Maze. Now, there are two mazes at this farm. One is for little kids and it is basically a big square space surrounded by hay bales with a couple very low bales sprinkled around. The other is the big huge maze where there are twisty, windy paths and the hay bales are piled about 5 feet high. My kids went into the kiddie “maze” first. I think my oldest was a bit apprehensive about running into the big one first, and wanted to get his feet wet. I recall a certain incident last year where he got disoriented inside the maze and came out crying and scared. So, they went in the little one and ran around a bit.
After about 15 minutes of watching them run and jump around on the hay bales, I asked if they were ready to go in the big maze. They both were so, holding hands so as not to lose each other, off they ran into the maze . . . and came out about 5 minutes later, anxious to do it again! So they went in about 3 more times. What a difference a year makes.
Next we were off to shop for pumpkins and other fun stuff. My husband found a gourd that he thought represented another item of his anatomy. Ahem.
The boys got to pick out their very own pumpkins as well . . .
And then we were off to the barn full of yummy and delicious apple and pumpkin related products. I grabbed a scrumptious pumpkin bread, some apple butter and a jug of cider. The hubs got a basket of apples and some spinach. Along with the pumpkins we had picked, we were all set! Although while we were checking out, I did look up and see something a bit disturbing:
Gourds painted with eyes on them. Weird. Is this some sort of warding off evil with an evil eye type thing? Anyone have any guesses?
Once we left the farm, we realized that fall had not only arrived, but had exploded with color all along the road. I took a couple of shots of some of the gorgeous trees on our way home.
Once we got home, I took a picture of the trees in my own backyard, which I thought were the most spectacular by far. I am not in any way biased on this point.
Glorious, yes? And I love the effect of the reddening of the tree from the top down. A full two days prior to this, you could hardly see any red in the very tippy top of the trees at all. It happened super fast. When it decided it was going to change, it did not mess around.
It was a very fall heavy day. All told, we had some fun at the pumpkin patch, got some yummy food items and some pumpkins and got to see the leaves changing on our trip practically right before our eyes.
The remainder of the day involved many Halloween activities, which will have to be foretold at a later time, as it is just too much for one post. Stay tuned . . .
What fall-like activities have you experienced thus far? Has Autumn truly hit you yet?