Pumpkin Junction

 We took the train from Flemington to Ringoes or "Pumpkin Junction" last weekend. Jared settled into his seat and said, "Papa's going to botanize on this train ride." Beren was totally entertained by the swaying passenger car, so Jared got his wish.

On the way, we passed the former site of China Buffet. Jared and I got our moving day meal here when we first moved to the Sourlands about 6 or 7 years ago. We can't seem to remember when we moved here, but it seems like longer than 6 or 7 years.

We passed a sweeping nursery with a sign reading Mavrode Farms. I think they took over the monumental sports complex on Route 202. Perhaps fifteen years ago, the complex opened and closed within just a year or two. The nets that surrounded the fields sagged and became torn. Then, in the past year or so, I noticed the Mavrode signs.

 Crop circles? Golf course.

Crop circles? Can't tell, corn's too high.

 Crop circles? Pumpkin patch with light burn down from a touch of herbicide, I reckon.

Beren would not cede his place on the tractor to any other child. Jared and I talked loudly each time one older boy drifted by, noting, "This tractor is broken. The batteries are dead." Beren did not notice or care. Why, he had me to push him around on the broken vehicle. Jared's back was bothering him.

We arrived at Pumpkin Junction at lunchtime, so there were only two other boys interested in the last five minutes of our stay. Had we taken the 2 o'clock train, he would have had more competition. 

 Wind and sun-blasted, we snacked on apples from the Hunterdon Land Trust Farmers Market on the ride back to Flemington. We rode the more upscale car back.

Crop circles? A toothy circumference around the apple.

Hunterdon Building Supply. "That's a classic Mackow," Jared said, noting my former life's love of photographing decaying buildings and signs.

Botanizing on the train. Curcurbita pepo.