I am absolutely in love with fall, particularly this year when the summer’s heat kept me indoors so much. I’ve promised myself to be outside as much as possible to savor fall, and this week I was able to indulge with a trip to the Dollinger Pumpkin Farm as we were driving out to hike in Starved Rock State Park, another seasonal ritual of my family.


country road with fall foliage
Turning into this country road, shortly before reaching the farm and leaving all the “ruburbian” developments behind, always makes my heart sing.
collection of pumpkins in front of barn
We arrived so early that we had the farm to ourselves for a few minutes before lots of happy little kids piled in. Notice, by the way, how grey the grass is. You can see the effects of that hot summer everywhere; it all looks dustier than usual.
field of orange pumpkins


No dustiness here.


Cinderella pumpkin with water puddle by the stem


A puddle in a pumpkin


Orange gourds and pumkins


It’s always tough, that search for the perfect pumpkin. Our rule is that each one of us gets to pick one. I actually love those warty guys and to my kids dismay, the pink one with the crust (on the left in this picture) went home with us. But after looking at it for a while, my daughter conceded that it was indeed rather striking.


gourds shaped like acorns red and grey

Gourds never cease to amaze me. Case in point: these gourds look like giant two-colored acorns with a necklace around their waist.