Go ahead, carve Abe Lincoln on your pumpkin ...

It's pumpkin, and yes also pumpkin spice, season. But for our binging this week, I'm talking about the real thing — the large round or oval vegetable/fruit found at every farmers market, supermarket and roadside stand in the region, maybe even in the country.

For many of us untalented and non-creative souls, the internet offers numerous websites offering advice, tips and free (yes, free!) stencils for creating your best-ever jack-o-lantern for your doorstop. I like Pumpkin Carving Patterns by The Pumpkin Lady (www.pumpkinlady.com). She offers — or so she claims — over 700 free pumpkin carving patterns, stencils, templates and Halloween designs in 13 fun categories. I did wonder who would carve Jesus Christ, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, a GOP elephant or Democratic donkey silhouetted against the Capitol building, Edgar Allan Poe or a raccoon on a pumpkin ... There are also plenty of videos and plenty of tips.

For those who need some hands on instruction and/or instruction, Chesterwood is offering "Fall into Chesterwood" 1 to 5 p.m. on Monday. Not only does it include entrance to studio, residence and grounds, live music by Mamma's Marmalade, dance performance by Sayer Mansfield and Shawn Ahern, a birding presentation by Arlene Kiesler and guided hikes, there is pumpkin carving and a scavenger hunt. The cost is $10, $5 for teens, free for children. Rain or shine. Chesterwood is at 4 Williamsville Road, Stockbridge.

For those who are intimidated by the thought of doing surgery on an orange object, the Pittsfield Farmers Market is offering pumpkin painting as part of its harvest fest from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. There also will be vendors, live music with The Banulis & Miller Jazz Duo, demos, free rides with the Roaming Railroad, bouncy house and more. The market is held at The Common, First Street, Pittsfield. The Roeliff Jansen Community Library Pumpkin Festival is offering pumpkin decorating for children 2 to 18, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; A storytime for children up to age 6 is slated at 10:30 a.m. and pizza and movie night, 5:30 p.m. Registration required, 518-325-4101. 9091 Route 22, Hillsdale, N.Y. roejanlibrary.org

Happy carving!


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