Sunday, 26 September 2010

Pumpkin Journey

[Cue Sir David Attenborough]

As the days shorten, and the winds from the north bring a chill to the upland farms of Hampshire, a very special event brings an unexpected touch of colour to the dull brown fields. For now is the time of one of Nature's great spectacles: the migration of great herds of pumpkins across these gently rolling hills.

Led by lowing bull pumpkins [sound effect], thousands upon thousands of these strange orange creatures make their way from their breeding places deep in the forest, spread out in straggling lines, guided by the white sheets the farmers have thoughtfully spread out across the fields.

No-one knows the purpose of this great migration, but as October approaches the extraordinary journey of the pumpkins begins. But little do they know, a great obstacle lies ahead: the A3057, a rushing torrent of traffic.



Martin H. said...

I've been waiting for these pumpkins to appear here. All week, we've been passing them by. Never a sign of a photographer though. Then this! Wonderful.

Mike C. said...

These are definitely more of a traffic hazard than the bean teepees... Like an army of footballs in high-viz jackets. I'm slightly surprised they're not under guard from marauding Hallowe'en rustlers.


Marilyn said...

I have just stumbled across your blog.
What a fascinating herd of pumpkins and I wonder where they migrate to - do you think they will go south for warmth? Will they survive the dangers along the way such as the A3057?

Mike C. said...

It is a mystery, Marilyn.

Not so long ago, the pumpkin was an unknown species in the British Isles. Like Japanese Knotweed and HBO it suddenly appeared and started to proliferate, replacing native species.

The migration starts, and then suddenly, they're gone. Whether they're very quick on their feet or heavily predated I don't know.
I have noticed that empty pumpkin shells appear all over the place in late October, so maybe they undergo some sort of metamorphosis?

Next time I see Sir David I'll ask him.


Kent Wiley said...

I've heard it reported that there is a massive pumpkin diaspora at this time of the year, on a yearly basis. They manage to reassemble at roadside stands, and then are individually taken hostage into the bellies of the four wheeled demons racing along the A3057 - and countless other asphalt arteries the world over. The late October metamorphosis is insidious, more of a disemboweling. I suspect it's not of their choosing. But the world is full of mysteries...