So fall is different in the south. Different from Washington and Ohio, where as you know we lived for six years. In both places, we saw changing leaves, went apple picking, visited a corn maze, went to a pumpkin patch, wore sweaters, prayed snow would hold off as long as possible. And here, well it's not the same. Surprise, surprise, there aren't changing leaves, not much apple picking to be found (except in the produce department), and it's 90-something degrees for a good portion of the year.
I loved experiencing a real autumn, since I grew up in the south and didn't get one. Crisp air, bonfires, crunchy leaves... It was wonderful and for that reason October has long been one of my favorite months. But to be honest, it's not so bad having 90 degree weather in mid-October. It definitely doesn't feel like fall except that the mornings are cooler, and to look around you wouldn't really notice much of a difference.
So long story short, pumpkins don't wait until fall in Florida. From what I'm told (and this is based purely on what someone told me), they arrive on the scene, ready for harvest in the summer, which is not exactly prime pumpkin pie season. So they get trucked in and placed in supermarkets and in pretty displays on church grounds.
Which leads us to our first Tallahassee pumpkin patch: at a Methodist church near our house that we pass on the way to our church (I don't think there's a denominational monopoly on pumpkin patches, but our Presbyterian church doesn't have one).
So picture everything in this post as it really was for us - on the corner of a busy intersection. Whereas in Spokane we were in a field of pumpkins that actually grew there, in Tallahassee we were across the street from a Super Lube and a Big Lots. It was a little funny.
Funnier still were the people dressed in sweaters and special outfits for the pumpkin outing, completely overdressed but desperately wanting this fall activity to allow for fall clothing. It was a cool morning (low 70s) but by the time we were there the temperature had risen about 15 degrees. You've got to commend someone for sticking to their guns and wearing a flannel scarf and jeans when it's just under 90 degrees.
(See the Super Lube?)
The pumpkin patch works on an honor system. There are prices for each size pumpkin and a box to put cash or check in to pay for them, which I really admire because I'd guess they get taken advantage of often.
We did not have checks on us and only enough cash for a very tiny pumpkin, so we just took pictures with them and left the pumpkins behind.
You'd be surprised by how many people were actually there, just out of the shot.
Some college guys offered to take our picture if we took theirs. Sure!
They had Carson take several different shots with planned poses, even referencing the way people did it in the past, so perhaps there's tradition in this picture?
We went grocery shopping after this and totally forgot to put pumpkins in our cart, but we do want to carve them (we still have a gingerbread kit from last Christmas in the back of the pantry though so the jury is out on whether this will happen).
Even though it didn't feel at all like fall, it did feel like we were involved in something that's been a part of the community in Tally for a long time, and since I love traditions, that totally works for me.