The last of the fall foliage may be gone and Halloween is around the corner, but Acadia, as always, is on our mind.
So why not combine one of our favorite holidays with thoughts of our favorite national park, and come up with something different for our annual jack-o-lantern carvings?
We call the trio Acadia-o-lanterns, and individually, there’s Bubble-Rock-o-lantern, Falcon-o-lantern (in honor of Hawk Watch’s 20th anniversary, with the season ending on Halloween, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. atop Cadillac, weather permitting!), and Arrowhead-o-lantern (the shape of the National Park Service logo).
We may also do a Smokey-o-lantern, in honor of Smokey Bear’s 78th birthday this year. It would also serve as a reminder of the importance of fire prevention, since this month 75 years ago was the Fire of 1947 that devastated Acadia and Mount Desert Island. See the Smokey Bear pumpkin carving pattern at the end of this blog post, courtesy of the Virginia Department of Forestry.
No one can confuse our pumpkins with anything Martha Stewart might create for Halloween, or our carving skills with that of Edwin Hawkes, a Bar Harbor master bird carver who volunteers at Hawk Watch on top of Cadillac.
But if we may say so ourselves, the Acadia National Park-themed jack-o-lanterns are a fun way to celebrate Halloween, while keeping Acadia top of mind even in the off-season.
Bubble-Rock-o-lantern is based on a photo we used for our Facebook page. From this angle, the glacial erratic looks kind of like a head, and thus seems a fitting representation for Acadia on My Mind.
When we look at Bubble-Rock-o-lantern lit up by candles, it reminds us of the climbs we’ve made up South Bubble with our nieces Stacey, Sharon and Michelle, and their vain attempts to push the precariously perched 100-ton rock.
Falcon-o-lantern stems from the “Know Your Silhouettes” handout available at Hawk Watch on Cadillac, which runs through Oct. 31, weather permitting. At Hawk Watch, which became a collaborative effort between the bird ecology program of the Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park and the park’s interpretive division for the first time in 2014, we learned that the falcon is distinguished by long, pointed wings and long tail. Hawk Watch also gets support from the Friends of Acadia.
Falcon-o-lantern triggers fond memories of the peregrine falcon we heard overhead while hiking Acadia Mountain one time, and of the Peregrine Watch and Hawk Watch that we’ve often stopped by at.
Arrowhead-o-lantern is in the shape of the National Park Service logo, and that shape was also prominently featured in the park service’s Centennial branding, with the 100th anniversary in 2016.
And that reminds us of the Acadia Centennial, being celebrated that same year.
Here’s a parting shot, a daytime view of our Acadia-o-lanterns, as well as a few offbeat pumpkin-carving patterns for you to try out.
Happy Halloween from Acadia on My Mind!
Offbeat Halloween pumpkin-carving patterns
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