Halloween’s this week, and like most parents I tried my hand at carving jack-o-lanterns when the kids were small. Most of them were crude, i.e., cartoon-like. They went a little bit beyond triangle eyes and nose and slit for a mouth, but not much beyond.
As rudimentary as those efforts were, they must have planted a seed somehow in my daughter, Kat. Years ago she started carving pumpkins and getting better and better, and every year carving more and more of them, and getting more and more elaborate. Let me show you (all pumpkin photos by Kat Willett):
For years, when possible (given acceptable weather and the cooperation of the “late night and early morning low clouds and fog” that are the norm in autumn) we have set up a couple of telescopes in the front yard for Halloween. We’ll sit out there and hand out candy and let folks take a look at whatever’s up. (Years with a favorable position for the moon, Jupiter, or Saturn are the best!)
As I said, the pumpkins above were all from 2009, and Kat’s only gotten more skilled and elaborate since then. She has a gallery of her pumpkin photos on her Deviantart account here. There are several hundred pictures posted there. This time of year, there are more being posted just about every day.
Yep, I’m a proud dad!
This year we’ll try to take the telescopes out again, if it’s clear. (So far the weather looks like it might be OK.) Last year it was cloudy and we got dozens of people asking where the telescopes were.
For the past three years we’ve also gotten lots of people asking every year where all of the amazing carved pumpkins are. I can’t help them there — Kat’s the one with all of the talent in that area!