Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Story of 3 Pumpkins

It's the end of February, and some of the snow is finally melting away here in Boston. Which means it's time to give you guys an update on this year's group of jack-o-lanterns. Here's the earlier post that documents their creation (Pumpkin Carvin' Party 2010).

And for those unfamiliar with my tradition of aging pumpkins, here's a little context from years past (1, 2).

I made a better effort this year in documenting their deterioration.

Above, we have pumpkins A, B, and C (left to right). These photos were taken as soon as they were placed outside, though A got a head start by a week (B and C were carved on Halloween). So, we're talking late October.

Now, I'm going to walk you through highlights of each specimen (photos taken from a span between November and December 2010).

Pumpkin A: Nov 5; Nov 7—the later because I wanted to catch'em wet.

Pumpkin A: Nov 22; Dec 12

Pumpkin B: Nov 7 (the glisten really brings out the horror)

Pumpkin B: Nov 22; Dec 12

Pumpkin C: Nov 7; Nov 22
This guy fell over on his own accord.
(which makes his demise particularly tragic)

Pumpkin C: Dec 4; Dec 12

This was the last time they were photographed together (Dec 12).

We got dumped on with snow for the greater part of January, so I neglected to document them as much as I would've liked to. As the cold sets in, they basically harden and shrivel in size. Snow and water (freezing, unfreezing) only help to suck the color out of them. Though I have no photographs to show for, I did notice at one point that I lost Pumpkin B. I suspect it blew off in one of the many snow storms, and got buried.

Fast forward to today: February 20, 2011.

I walk out to the porch to find neither of the remaining pumpkins.
(SHOCK! HORROR!). Except for this unidentified specimen:

(which I believe is Berney and Liz's pumpkin, tucked under a table—it rotted to nothing soon after Halloween).

It occurred to me immediately that they probably blew off in the powerful windstorm we had over Friday and Saturday. So, I looked over the edge...

...and found what appeared to be the remains of Pumpkin C in the storm drain.

Which, upon closer inspection, I can be almost certain of.

I peered further over the edge and noticed another pumpkin, 3 floors down, nestled on a shrub. What I saw when I went downstairs surprised even me:

I can't make this stuff up. This is where it landed. I KID YOU NOT. Right next to my landlord's lawn ornament. Next to two frightened plaster children. This is exactly how I found it.

I reached out to touch it, and it AWOKE.


Pumpkin A. I found its stem nearby in the snow...

...and reunited them. The evil forces within him, resurrected.

A horrible specimen.

The pumpkins at this point are as stiff as wood. Light, dry, and easy to handle. Pretty cool, actually. I'm surprised this guy stayed so well preserved. My previous attempts mostly yielded flattened pancakes.

I'm already looking forward to next year.

Until then, protect your children...


Renee Kurilla said...

HAHAHA that's amazing. From behind it totally looks like the kids are afraid of it!

KW said...

That's fun, thanks for posting

Dan Moynihan said...

That is a seriously terrifying pumpkin at the end.

ETCIllustration said...

Pumpkin A looks like a horrible witch or a cranky old man. So perfectly Halloweeny! Maybe for next Halloween you can carve the pumpkins months in advance so you have some truly horrifying jack-o-lanterns.

Bob Flynn said...

Thanks for the comments! I may hold onto Pumpkin A—might have voodoo powers or something. Ellen: not a bad idea! Though, I'd be concerned in warmer temps they would just melt into mush.

Will Strong said...

Disgustingly wonderful experiment. Thanks for sharing.