Anyone seen my pumpkin?

America is bursting at the seams with pumpkins in the run up to Halloween.

Gorgeous Texas weather accompanied a trip out east to the small town of Elgin, about 45 minutes drive from Austin. As a non-resident alien–my official status according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection–the pumpkin festival offered a lovely slice of traditional Americana.

There was plenty on offer to see and do, including somewhat nonchalant farm animals to pet (there’s only so much rubbing you can take, I guess; one goat in particularly seemed to prefer to be left alone to get on with eating his grass) or catching a ride on a tractor pulling hay-filled trailers around the grounds of a giant Christmas tree farm in which the festival was being held and proved a sight in itself.

I thought a high point was the rubber duck racing, for which you hand pumped water into a network of tubing in order to send your pink rubber duckling hurtling along to try and beat the adversarial rubber duck sloshing around in the parallel rig of tubing.

A wily proprietor nearly persuaded me to buy a $7 brick of Hawaii banana loaf though I managed to retain my composure, instead buying two cookies for 75 cents. You have to keep your wits about you in America, even at the pumpkin festival.