Leia and I met up with our friends Melissa and Trey for a drive back up to the Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center. We wanted pumpkins (and funnel cake). Melissa wanted to put her new DSLR to work and capture fun pictures of the kids, so I dusted off my camera and off we went.
Bates Nut Farm is the quintessential pumpkin patch experience for me. There’s animals for Leia to play with, an open field to pick pumpkins, scarecrows, corn fields, a country store with aisles of treats. They have everything – except funnel cake on weekdays. The food vendors only set up on weekends. Not that funnel cake is incredibly hard to come by, it was just part of the whole experience.
So we let the kids loose to run around the stacks of pumpkins. It was a little chilly and overcast, which I loved. It’s hard to get in the festive fall spirit when it’s 80 degrees and we’re in shorts and sandals. Coming on a weekday meant we dodged the crowds, which is a huge plus in my book. The only other groups seemed to be pre-schools and girl scout troops.
I rarely have my DSLR on me. It takes up too much room in my bag, it’s heavy, and I’m chasing around a toddler. Gone are the days I can prop her up next to something cute and snap away at her expressive face. When she started walking it was slow and cautious enough to give the shutter time to capture moments. Now she’s on top of furniture, racing around corners, playing hide and seek – I can’t keep up with a camera attached to my face. The best I can do most of the time is grab my phone and take a few grainy, blurry, low res snap shots.
But every now and then I like to take out the “real” camera, because the quality just can’t be beat. We chased the kids around, making whistling noises and saying things like “Look over here! Ohhh, what is this? No, this. This over here. Pleaseeeee look at mommy!” It’s obnoxious and I love/hate myself for being this mom:
I’m a huge advocate for living in the moment. So when I’m chasing Leia around with my face behind a camera, I worry that I’m forgetting to stop and be present. To watch her face light up when she finds a pumpkin she can lift. To hold her hand and guide her out when she gets stuck in a sea of orange. To listen to her call me mom when she’s bringing me another piece of hay. To see her get excited chasing the goats and chickens around. I want to capture the memories we make together, but I want to make sure I live them first.
That said, we had a lot of fun and took great pictures. The ones from my camera are stuck on my CF card because my card reader is broken (again). Now I have to take the card to Costco, have them put on a CD, then upload the pictures from the CD to my computer. Leia 20 years from now, if you’re reading this, I know it’s going to sound archaic. I hope you laugh at this technology the way I laugh thinking about my Grandpa’s 15 pound VHS recorder perched on his shoulder every Christmas morning.
Melissa took these great shots, thanks!