Pumpkins and Pies

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The still-dark early morning, clear with stars bright. Sunrise revealing a blue sky day, cloudless, the air crisp. A killing frost, the last of the green basil turned purple-black. The first wave of orange-red foliage gone, maples mostly bare, yellow beech leaves mottled with brown, the woodland understory still leafy. Russet hills, evergreen trees peeking out, red sumac bright along the roadway. Early morning frost on the valley pastures, horses huddled against the cold, smoky mist rising from the West River.

Along Route 30, an unexpected stop for pies and pumpkins at the Pumpkin Festival in Townshend, Vermont. An eclectic mix of craft, antiques and cheap-import booths. Food carts and a gazebo, a fountain filled with a mosaic of wet leaves. A classic town common ringed by white wooden buildings, church spire reaching into the blue cloudless sky. On the corner, a brick inn from 1792. Face painting, pony rides and children blowing bubbles. A town celebration of autumn, a deliciously sunny day.

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