Thursday, October 13, 2011

Autumn Pastimes

This past weekend felt more like June than October but I'll take any nice weather I can get after Labor Day.  With the sun out and the leaves changing, it was the perfect weekend to head to the corn maze.  One of the nice things about being in Upstate New York is there are dozens of apple orchards, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, and haunted hayrides around.  The farm we went to featured a corn maze (with evening haunted options), hayride to the pumpkin patch, and a petting zoo.  I was more excited about the latter two.  I do not like not knowing where I am in a maze or otherwise.  We didn't break and records going through the corn maze but we made it with me getting too anxious.  That's a lot better than I can say for the solar system corn maze from Earth Science.

Can you see the way out?
No surprise to anyone, I liked the petting zoo.  To be fair is was a little weak.  One calf, a few goats, two piglets, and some poultry.  Poultry is a petting zoo? It still seems a bit risky to me.  A dollar bought you a bag of feed which the goats were not shy about trying to steal.  The star of the set up was the calf.  He was just as content to try to nurse from my thumb as eat the feed.

So cute!

Being a country girl I was really hoping for a horse-drawn hayride.  Motorized hayrides tend to bring back memories of filling the barn with hay bales in the heat of the summer.  Alas, I couldn't find a farm offering horse drawn rides.  There were several toddlers on the wagon with us.  I was smiling while listening to the parents tell their kids to choose a pumpkins they can carry and remembering how well that worked when my parents told me and my brothers to choose our pumpkins carefully.  Sure enough, the tots all came shuffling back to the wagon struggles to hold their bright orange trophies. The Boyfriend and I picked our own pumpkins and headed home to prepare for phase two of pumpkin picking.

Extreme pumpkin carving had been on television so we had big plans for our pumpkins.  After an hour of careful carving, Our jack-o'-lanterns were complete!  I'm still impressed by how well they came out.  It was so much nicer not trying to carve a large squash in the biting cold like some jack-o-lanterns from Halloweens-gone-by.

The Boyfriend's Jack-o'-Lantern and My Jack-o'-Lantern
The fall harvest creates many fun activities for farm visitors.  Not only are corn mazes, apple picking, and pumpkin patches quintessential autumn pastimes, they are also excellent ways to support local commerce.  Check your local listings and gather the troops for a day of low-cost seasonal festivities.

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