When we bought this house a little over three years ago, the prior owner had cultivated a large garden patch. It had giant sunflowers, roma tomatoes, peppers, beans and pumpkins. I suck at gardening, honestly. I didn't have time to nurture everything into harvest. Almost everything else went to waste, but those pumpkins...they took over. We had pumpkins coming out our ears. There were mini pumpkins and regular carving pumpkins. After I decorated my entire house for Halloween and gave some to my coworkers, they were still out there ripening. I finally took a big moving box, wrote "FREE PUMPKINS" on it with a magic marker and put it out in front of the mailbox. Every couple of days I'd go through and pick what had ripened and put it in the box.
Last spring, after Lady died, I went through the front pasture where she is buried and randomly shoved some pumpkin seeds into piles of horse dung. I didn't know if any of them would take, but I thought it would be nice to have some pumpkins this fall.
I had some issues with my irrigation this year and wasn't really paying attention to the front pasture except to feel cranky about the weeds growing there (horses are picky, they don't eat weeds. I need goats for that). Until I noticed the pumpkin vines growing by the fence.
I have about four good-sized ones and some smaller ones forming on the vine. They were planted late and so are still dark green and gaining size. I am guessing we will have them ripen right on time to carve for Halloween.
Its starting to cool down now. High 40's to low 50's in the mornings, cool enough to need a sweater or a hoodie for my morning trip to the barn. I love spring, and summer here is comprised of 99.9% sunny days, ranging from perfect (low 80's) to OMG I'm Baking (99-102). I appreciate the plethora of rain-free weekends, since this old horsewoman has no desire to haul my arthritic hips onto a horse in wet weather. But when fall arrives, when the air gets crisp and the long sleeves appear, when the kids start practicing for football, and when we get our first cool fall rain, it feels like homecoming to me.
The next two months will be busy with birthday parties and buying costumes, the last few trail rides of the season for the clubs, and my yearly favorite - swapping out the warm weather clothes for sweaters. Two big tubs will sit on the floor of my room until summer finally gives its last gasp and I no longer have to dress for both fall and summer at the same time. We'll start decorating the house soon, with gourds and fall colors. We'll make plans for corn mazes and pumpkin patch visits, start planning Thanksgiving menus and take long rides in the cool fall air. I'll stop drinking whites and go back to reds. I love this time of year.