glow

Oh the glow of the candles on our nighttime visit to the Great Jack O' Lantern Blaze , it was magical! We marveled at the installations, it's hard to believe that they are all done with hand carved pumpkins.
A few of my favorites were....

a bee hive with bees buzzing all around...

a field of sunflowers...

a huge ship sailing on an ocean with fish swimming beneath...

in a coral reef.

We were so proud of our friend Mike, the creator of the whole festival. His story is so inspiring. He is an artist, a printmaker, struggling for years to figure out how to balance his creative life and still support his family. He began carving pumpkins the way he carved his intricate wood-block prints and five years ago he thought up this jack o' lantern festival. The historical estate that he works for thought that it might be a good money maker, and it just took off. Now it is a huge event attended by over 100,000 people, and the biggest money maker of the year for his employer (who as you can imagine, loves Mike).
On our drive home I kept thinking about how Mike is an example of someone staying true to himself and still being able to carve out a niche that perfectly fits his skill. He built it, and they came! I think that we all need to hear about more stories like his.