The Ghost Pumpkin

It’s that time of year again, when families all across America are adding to their fall festivities with pretty pumpkins. When most people think of pumpkins, the traditional orange gourd comes to mind. It’s seasonal tone sets off other harvest decorations quite nicely. But for those interested in something new and different, the Ghost Pumpkin is an elegant twist on traditional decor.

These pumpkins (Cucurbita pepo) are white-skinned pumpkins that are now gaining appeal for a fresh, new feel for Halloween decorations. There are many different varieties of the pale gourd – Luminas, Caspers, Cotton Candy, or Full Moons – and each has a unique shape and size. Although typically more flat barrelled and with broader ridges, these spooky gourds still have orange-toned flesh on the inside. This makes them glow from the inside even more when carved!

Ghost Pumpkins are a tad more expensive than their orange cohorts, because picking them is tricky. When left on the vine too long, the gourds turn a pale blueish-gray and their fruit becomes less sweet. You can cook with them just as you would any other ripe pumpkin. For decorative purposes, these pale beauties offer an easier canvas to paint on, and when used with red or black really make scary decorations pop!


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Fruitful weekend when you visit Schoepfle Garden

In 1936 Otto Schoepfle Jr. bought the first piece of property that would become Schoepfle Garden for two reasons: his grandparents had owned the house with his father being born here and being on a lake ridge he knew the soil would be perfect for his gardening hobby.  Today we share the results of Otto’s hobby with 20 acres of gardens and more than 40 acres of woods and trails that you can enjoy on warm fall weekends.  A number of trees from maples to the katsura to black walnuts and cherry have started to add to the color palette here.  The white pines are dropping needles to add to the fragrance of the garden as well.  Fall blooms like autumn crocus, sedum and hardy begonia along with marigolds, canna and petunias still are providing a lot of visual pleasure.  Make a day of it by visiting the garden and stopping by one of the many orchards along St Rt 113 for apple picking and fall vegetables – like Otto they know the land along the lake ridge is perfect for growing.


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Last Call for Fall Wagon Rides!

Join us for Carlisle Reservation’s LAST “weekend” (this Sat 7th/Sun 8th) of ‘Horse-drawn Wagon Rides & Corn Maze’ this fall season. Tickets for the Wagon Rides and the Corn Maze are $2 EACH, available for purchase at the Equestrian Center grandstand UNTIL 3:30pm. Children three and under receive a FREE ticket. The Corn Maze will re-open for “two evenings” this month for our ‘Haunted Corn Maze’ event! Mark your calendars for Tuesday 17th and Wednesday 25th (7:00pm-8:30pm); tickets are $2 each, this “haunted version” is not suitable for young children. As always, these outdoor programs are weather dependent. Please call ahead (440-458-5121) the day of the program in case of inclement weather or high wind advisories. For more info, please visit the Park’s website at:


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Kids Monday Mania

Kids ages 6-12 years old are welcome to visit Splash Zone on Monday evenings for fun activities and swimming.

Activity: 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Swim: 7:00 pm – 7:45 pm (Front Pool) and 7:15 pm – 7:45 pm (Back Pool)

Members: $2.00 per child

Non-Members: $3.50 per child

Click here to pre-register!

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Kids Trick or Treat Fun Run

AMHERST – Trick or Treat FITNESS style will take place at the Mercy Health & Recreation Center on Sunday, October 22nd when children (ages 12-under) will participate in a FUN RUN that will have them leaving the event with a Cardio workout and Candy!

Have you ever received a Trick instead of Candy? Well, at this Kids Fun Run you just may. If the participant is given a TRICK they will be conducting a fitness exercise, but don’t worry the traditional TREAT will be given out throughout the run too, how many times is a random chance….TRICK OR TREAT!



Sunday, October 22nd
11:30am (registration) 12:10pm (Race)

Hollstein Reservation (Mercy RecreationCenter)
47160 Hollstein Drive – Amherst, Ohio
440.984.3470 (phone)



Ages 12-under (boys and girls)
Costumes are encouraged to be worn (Bring a bag to collect candy)

Register at OR 440.984.3470 (October 1 – October 19)
Race Day registration starts at 11:30am at Mercy Health & Recreation Center (October 22)

The course is a 1/2 mile race that is well marked with trick or treat stations around the park. Each station will be a random selection of a trick (fitness exercise) or a treat (candy).

All participants will receive a finisher ribbon, water, and of course CANDY!

Contact Ryan Ladd (race director) at 440-984-3470 or

Monster Dash (October 28 at Lakeview Park)
Jr. Turkey Trot (November 12 at Mercy Health & Recreation Center)

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What Does the Woolly Bear Predict?

This woolly bear caterpillar was found at Miller Nature Preserve.  According to folklore (which may not be scientific, but is fun) if there is more black than brown, the winter will be harsh.  If there is less black, the winter will be mild.  Which is this one predicting?

The woolly bear is the larval stage of the Isabella tiger moth and is able to survive the winter by going into a state that is called “quiescence”.  When the weather is very cold, the caterpillar may go under a leaf and go into the insect equivalent of hibernation, quiescence.  When the weather warms up, the caterpillar becomes active again.  If the weather gets cold again, the caterpillar again goes into quiescence.  Pretty amazing!

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Delightful Dahlias!

Miller Nature Preserve has several breathtaking gardens that help create an atmosphere of relaxation in the natural world. Carefully groomed, the gardens are places of respite and calm for many who visit the Avon conservatory. But one garden that people are particularly fond of is the Dahlia Garden. And currently, it is in full bloom.

The Dahlia Garden at Miller Nature Preserve is sponsored by the Dahlia Society of Ohio. Established in 1930, the Dahlia Society of Ohio is an organization that educates, shares, and presents dahlia information to interested collectors and nature enthusiasts alike. The organization has partnered with Lorain County Metro Parks at Miller Nature Preserve in order to showcase it’s work and dahlia expertise ( ). The Dahlia Society currently maintains the garden itself and does a wonderful job of cultivating the flowers into a rich and bountiful garden of beauty.

Here, a stunning display of long-stemmed blooms climb carefully into the sunlight in the garden. With over thirty different species of dahlias currently known, there is a huge variety of blooms to learn to cultivate. Dahlias vary in bloom size, stem height, and color combinations and are named after Swedish botanist Anders Dahl. The flowers were first found in the rocky hillsides of Mexico, with their faces reaching up to the sun.

Come visit. The dahlias are waiting for you.


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