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Fall Traditions

The crisp air and colorful leaves of fall bring our favorite traditions of the season.

Photo essay by Marlena Sloss

Mel Menke of Huntingburg drives a combine while harvesting white corn in his fields on Oct. 7. At age 80, Mel has been farming for over 60 years and he is well attuned to the seasons and what each month brings. When October hits, Mel’s mind is on the harvest. He is constantly watching the weather to ensure the most successful crop yield. “It’s always more rewarding than the planting season, although that’s important, too,” he said. “We find out how our [crop] yields are.” Though he knows he must work hard all year to ensure the success of his crops, it’s not in his control. The harvest is “in God’s hands,” he said.

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Elle Humbert of West Baden bakes pumpkin chocolate chip scones at her home on Nov. 11. In autumn, her favorite season, baking and sharing her creations is her favorite thing to do. “Baked goods just make people's day just 10 times brighter,” she said. She loves dropping off unexpected gifts to her coworkers, family and friends, and she makes sure to bake with care. “You have to make it with love,” she said. “Whenever I give it to people, that's what I always say. It was made with love and just enjoy it.”

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After wandering the rows of pumpkins, gourds and Chrysanthemums, Everett Snyder, 8, of Jasper, attempts to pick up his selected pumpkin at The Produce Patch in Jasper on Oct. 10. In addition to carving the pumpkin, his mother, Farah, said Everett was excited to cut the pumpkin open and explore it to learn about how things grow. “He wants to see if he can plant his own,” Farah said.

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Regan Beachy, 13, sets up his bow while hunting at his home on Nov. 7.
Left: Regan Beachy, 13, skins a deer shot by his sister, Alaina, outside his grandfather’s home in Loogootee on Nov. 15. Right: Alaina Beachy, 10, practices her aim on Oct. 10.

For Lyndon Beachy of Loogootee, fall hunting is about teaching his children how to persevere. Through practicing patience, taking care of the bows and tools, and learning how to skin and butcher the animals, he believes they learn an appreciation for what God made. “Putting them out in the woods, and they sit there until something comes by — it’s not really an easy thing,” Lyndon said. Spending time outside also allows his family to observe the changing landscape. “You’ve got all the animals that you watch, and those squirrels, they keep hauling hickory nuts off to the trees, they stash them in a hole in the ground and you know, all the animals are gearing up for winter,” Lyndon said. “It’s just a neat thing. So it’s a challenge of getting a nice animal, if you want to hold out for it, and just everything that you learn from being outdoors.”

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Cameron Madden, 10, of Birdseye, wanders between houses while trick-or-treating in Birdseye on Oct. 31. Edwin Madden, father of Cameron and Owen, 7, said Halloween gives his boys an opportunity to be creative and choose their costumes. This year, their zombie costumes were inspired by the television series, “The Walking Dead.” The brothers also love walking around and seeing the other costumes. And of course, getting candy. “They’re going to be hyped up for about a week and a half,” Ed said.

The Herald | Dubois County, Indiana | Saturday, November 21, 2020