Monday, October 12, 2009

Pumpkin Head, Take Two

Ronan, a carnival squash, the wheelbarrow, and *the hat*, Year 2

One year ago we took Ronan to a family owned pumpkin patch in San Gregorio for the annual autumnal squash selection. That year Ronan sported a crowd pleasing, hand-knit hat from Linda Walters, a long time family friend. So cute was Ronan in his hat that my friend and colleague Alice did a blog post of her own recalling events of that day.

This year we decided to head back to that same farm for our annual Halloween harvest. Although the layout was a bit different (every year they rotate crop fields to keep the soil rich), the place retained almost all of it's charm.

The same red wheelbarrows were available for pumpkin (and child) toting, and yes, Ronan loved riding, pushing, and exploring them. He was a year older, a year bigger, and a year more capable; it was great to watch him revel in an environment clearly structured for fun.

Even toddlers need a rest from time to time...

On one side of the patch stood a maze cut in a corn field for kids accompanied by an adult to walk through. After he observed a few groups of people disappearing into the stalks, Ronan decided the maze was interesting enough to investigate. We chuckled when he walked up to the entrance, regarded the brightly painted signs, look backed at us, shot an evil grin, and then darted into the tall corn field. Fortunately a speedy Mom caught him just before he was able to get good and lost.

"Uh, we know *that's* not going to happen"

Busted! Mom catches Ronan in the corn maze

In the middle of the pumpkin patch was the obligatory haystack, six bales high and at least four a side at the top. Whooping kids chased each other up and down while the intrepid jumped off of the top into the piles of loose straw at the corners. Ronan gave it a go and scaled right to the top- he was so proud of himself as he ran around the top, pointing and grunting to all who would listen about his accomplishment.

Scaling the haystack

On top of the world! Well, at least on top of the haystack...

When the time came to pick a pumpkin, Ronan thought the best selection process was to test the squash's meddle. In lieu of finding the right shape or color Ronan would bite the stem and see if it was solid. If it was, Ronan would jump on top of the pumpkin and wrestle it for a while, using a variety of holds and techniques. Once he had tired the squash out, he would jump on it and giggle with glee at the thorough drubbing he administered. After 10 mins of wrestling, a pumpkin got the best of Ronan (at this point Ronan was trying to run *on top* of the pumpkins which were half his height or more) and thus his pumpkin was chosen.

"Will I get a reaction?"

Demonstrating proper pumpkin wrestling technique

Now he's just showboating

The pumpkin's revenge... Ronan's hubris is his downfall

After a fun couple of hours we packed up the car and headed back over the hill, the trunk filled with a colorful variety of squash. The combination of the brisk fall weather, the bright orange pumpkins, and the enthusiasm of a little one made for a very fun Sunday afternoon. Oh, and a hat to match made it a perfect day!

Knackered from the day's excitement, Ronan had to be wheeled out of the patch

Mandatory family photo... soon to be, if not already, a real drag


Todd said...

You should send a link to your blog to Patagonia. Every post one of you are rocking some of their attire. I love it.
Here in Indo there is no need for my pretty Patagonia jackets:-(

Holly said...

Great post! What an adventure. Love the shot of him "reading" the signs at the maze of maize - can't believe they charge $5 for that! Also, I'll have to try biting the stems of squash next time I'm in the grocery; perhaps R. is on to something!! Wonderful family shot at the end - press save & print!
Oh, & I dig R's snazzy new sox & shoes :-)

Erik said...

re: Patagonia- that's a good idea. Could be "BEF brought to you by Patagonia". Their gear holds up quite well and fits Ronan properly.

re: prices- although the $5 was a bit steep we left with an assortment of pumpkins & other squashes for only $15, so I suppose it all nets out.