Thursday, September 23, 2010

Welcome Back, Harvest

 It's here.

 Tonight is the end of summer, thus beginning my personal favorite time of year, the earth reaching its peak of life as the chill of the coming winter months sets in.

 And this night marks a rare event. The Super Harvest Moon. For the first time in almost twenty years, when the sun set, it blended with the autumn moon as it rose, creating a unique twilight As the two low rising and setting light sources intertwined together in the sky, the twilight is uniquely illuminated.

 In case you are wondering, the image to the side is one of my new favorite things. An autumn angel, in her orange dress she holds a basket of pumpkins, with fallen leaves as her wings. Sounds like my idea of heaven.

Here is the view of the autumn moon, much later in the night, from my back porch. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Visions from a Starry Night

 I've always been fond of the eye Vincent Van Gough had for the world, but until very recently I had never seen these paintings of his. Brings to mind the season, don't they?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Great Pumpkin Shortage

 September has now nearly run its course. The weather is chilling down, the wind is picking up, and October will be upon our doorstep very soon. But while pumpkins may begin showing up in select supermarkets, the United States is in the midst (and hopefully soon coming out) of a cooking and baking pumpkin shortage. My local supermarket has some pumpkins already out, but does not have any canned pumpkin. Another supermarket nearby has some cans of organic pumpkin, which may be what I use the most of this season.

 Central Illinois is the source for almost 95% of all American-grown pumpkins that become cooked and canned. Late last summer, as the pumpkin harvest began, Illinois experienced their third growing season of too much rain and not enough sun. Soil conditions were harsh, with tractor axles becoming buried and stuck in mud, leaving large portions of the pumpkin crop to rot, unharvested.

 To try and make up for this shortage in 2010, companies such as Libby's (who are responsible for 87% of canned pumpkin sold in the U.S. from September to December) have added acreage to their crop. 

 As of this writing, there appear to be mixed news reports as to the pumpkin crop's outcome this year. An article in North Central Illinois' News Tribune reports on reports from around the state claiming that another wet season and diseases such as mildew have killed many pumpkin crops. However, yet another article in the Columbus Dispatch has grocers confidently stating that "canned pumpkin will be readily available this fall and on store shelves in time for holiday pies and other treats."

 I will be remaining cautiously optimistic; not anticipating the worst, but still hoarding each can I am able to find this fall.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Your haunted home away from home...

One of my favorite holiday sites on the web is Since finding the site a few years back, I've come to feel at home with the online community of haunters and pumpkin-lovers.

I am particularly fond of the site's new logo, which is featured on their latest shirts and hoodies for this year. So stop by for some chat, a great tutorial to help you haunt your home in priceless and original ways, or a shirt.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Strange People

For all the other staples of the season-- from "Danse Macabre" to "Thriller"-- I've been glad to see The Doors' "People Are Strange" making a strong case for inclusion into the Halloween musical canon. I've always thought there was a certain festive sound to this tune, and that was reinforced last October when I saw a stage production of "The Legend of Sleepy Hallow" (with a modern twist) which featured this song heavily.