Saturday, October 15, 2011

Day 4.278: Hope is alive in Esperance, NY

Nearly a year ago, we had a surprising and wonderful experience at "Pick a Pumpkin Pumpkin Patch". Today, realising our pre-Halloween pumpkin shopping days were limited by other weekend activities, we returned.

We had a good time and much was as we remembered (well, OK, the toppled and headless pumpkin pig was a minor deviation):

However, this is a farm in the Schoharie valley and it was seriously affected by the flooding following Hurricane Irene.  In a double-blow, they also lost their owner and founder to a brain tumor in the days that followed.  It is amazing that they are open at all this season, but they are.

This was the view of the barn, the fields and, hidden in the trees is Schoharie Creek, which broke its banks in devastating fashion in late August.

The magnitude of the event can be seen here - the previous flood levels (from 1955, 1987 and 1996) are marked on the board at the corner of the barn.  The 2011 flood level is at head height at the upper floor entrance.

The hayrides which traditionally take visitors to the field to choose their pumpkins, were instead taking them to the field to see what the flooding had left (not much in the way of pumpkins that is for sure).

It seems fitting that while were snacking on apple cider and cider donuts, the weather closed in for a few minutes.

You can also read more about the floods online, or - if you can - go and visit and see the exhibit of photographs of the flooding as well the physical evidence around the farm (despite what must have been a heroic clean-up effort) and of course enjoy the attractions and pick up a pumpkin.

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