I met my friend the “Professor” by the old cottonwood tree that has been turned into a hang-out of sorts for the local teenagers. I don’t get to see him as often as I would like to…so the time we spend together is meaningful for me. Usually, we pick a topic to converse about and see where it goes from there. This time, since it was the end of October we decided that a Halloween-theme was in order. By now it shouldn’t surprise the regular readers of this blog that all kinds of holiday related stuff also washes into the park along with all the regular junk that unfortunately is in the Ohio River.
The Professor and I have been friends for a few years now. I first met him here by the river. We are both beachcombers and it has been fun to recount our various discoveries. It is interesting how people like to collect different things and the Professor keeps his own cabinet of curiosities which is composed of his river finds. When I caught up with him this morning, he had already been prowling the river’s beaches and he was anxious to show me his treasures. This is what he decided to keep to add to his growing river collection.
It’s not everyday that you encounter a lobster at the Falls of the Ohio. On occasion, you do come across the small crayfish or “crawdads” that the herons and raccoons like to eat. The Professor seemed especially happy to have found it. His next exhibit was a bit peculiar and a tad distasteful.
Yes, it’s an old intact jar of pickles that reminded the Professor of the preserved specimens you might find in a medical museum. While these “albino” pickles are indeed scary…they are not overtly Halloween decorations. There was something inside the tree house that the Professor said did fit the bill and here is a snapshot of it.
Now here indeed was a true Halloween decoration that has been augmented with an improvised eye-patch and the worm dangling from its bony mouth is a plastic worm used for fishing. This find was hanging up inside the tree house and my guess is that it is being used now to impart some pirate atmosphere.
With his beady little eyes shining, the Professor was anxious to see what I had brought. Reaching into my collecting bag I pulled out an envelope of photographs. One difference between the Professor and me is that I no longer feel compelled to pick up and carry home every little thing I find. Sometimes a photographic image of it is enough for me and this set off a conversation about how nothing replaces being able to handle the real thing and how computers and on-line shopping are weirdly vicarious experiences. I let the Professor rant a bit and of course…he’s right. Regardless, I did show him my images and I’m glad to also share them with you. Most of them are Jack-o-lantern candy containers for holding the actual trick or treat loot. So, here are the pictures which span about a year and a half worth of finds.
Here’s a few smaller novelties that probably were part of the candy’s packaging.
I once found a skeletal reference of my own and I think it was used as a stopper for some kind of candy container?
And now for a couple of found disguises.
This full-face mask looks like a hockey goalie’s mask, but I think it recalls one of those scary Halloween movies which I’m not fond of. The next one is more my style!
I thought it was humorous to encounter this plastic nose mask! Okay, one last image before total boredom sets in. Here’s another jack-o-lantern pumpkin I came across after last spring’s flooding. It’s meant as a house decoration and was as large as a good-sized pumpkin. It was so muddy where it rested that I just took this picture and went on my way. Here’s hoping you all had more treats than tricks during the last Halloween.