They are spooky, cute, tacky, creative or natural, the decorations for Halloween that Americans place around their houses. It’s this time of the year again, when we make fun of our fears of darkness and death.
I tried to join with a natural take but suffered several serious cases of what J. calls “custom carving by squirrel.” I put a colorful squash the size of a soccer ball on the stairs. After the first day, I noticed that someone had nibbled on it. It still looked pretty. The next time I checked, the squash showed a fist-big hole. The day after that, the squirrels had gutted the squash, yellow and orange shreds were sprinkled all over the stairs.
I thought the smaller size of the squash had made it such a desirable squirrel snack. So I bought two large orange pumpkins. I brushed off the dirt; their smooth skin shining in the sun. I added a smaller, third pumpkin to complete the trio. Alas, after only three hours, I opened the door to catch two black squirrels in the act! They already had dug deep into the small pumpkin; I took it inside. I hoped that the bigger pumpkins could survive the squirrels’ sharp teeth with their thicker skin. Oh no, an hour later two black and grey fur balls scurried away from the stairs when I yanked open the door. They had nibbled off a hand-sized part of one of the two big pumpkins. That’s it, I thought. I took the pumpkins inside.
Other people are luckier. Their pumpkins (and unpalatable plastic pieces) sit peacefully outside to spread the Halloween spirit. Without much further ado, you can see my 2014 photo edition of neighborhood Halloween decorations below.