::A pair of foxes, who, as you can tell, are quite taken with one another's tails.
::We convinced Hugo to change his costume from a frog fish (which is a real animal, by the way, which most of us have not heard of, except for Hugo, who wanted to be one for Halloween) to an Osprey, because at least a bird would be identifiable by most people, right?
::Lily the raccoon (thankfully, we had a mask on hand, because we learned the day of the school parade that Lily is severely allergic to even hypoallergenic face paint! For better or worse, this girl has inherited my sensitivity!).
::Zosia the deer. You may notice that she has both the speckles of a fawn and the horns of a buck, which, if you actually live in the country around deer, you will probably realize is not the way God created it. But it's cute anyway, right?!
::Ben the park ranger
::And the mama bear!
Oh, you guys. I love this time of year. I take everything back I said about California being too warm and too sunny all the time, because it turns out that when, paired with a slight cooling of the temperatures, daylights savings time, and a fun holiday like Halloween, fall is glorious even in sunny California.
There were times "back East" (as everyone around here seems to refer to it) that, I will admit, daylights savings time felt kind of cruel. It was getting cold and rainy, the foliage was all dying, and as if you aren't already adjusting to your inability to be outside, just like that it started getting dark early. Last year was probably the first year that I met all these changes with downright dread, an experience so common that those of us from back East have given it a clinical name.
But on the West Coast, fall is gentle and mild. There is no sudden temperature snap, no weekend when all the beautiful leaves fall to the ground, no drama. I will admit, I do miss the drama. But if you tune in closely, you do feel a shift, and the mornings are cooler, the sky is especially clear, and at night it feels cosy to be tucked under an extra blanket. I make applesauce at least once a week, and Clara has decided that the only way she will nap is once she has fallen very soundly asleep on the shoulder of someone she loves, which has resulted in some wonderful afternoon snuggles. And truth be told, when the time changed, it suddenly felt just right: dinners with a candle, slightly earlier bedtimes, and we even turned the heating on for the first time this week.
I think what I love about Halloween is the creativity: the excitement and imagination involved in dressing up in a costume and taking on another identity. Over the years we've often developed a tradition of making costumes, which, despite the *ahem* lackluster craftsmanship involved, is something the kids love and look forward to, and I think there's nothing that pairs better with more time indoors than unlocking some creative energy. I think this year might be my favorite year yet, and I do believe that there is nothing that makes it feel like fall more than Halloween.