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I went through the campground at Hoffmaster State Park, on my way down to the lake.

I expected the campground to be mostly empty, but there was well over half occupancy. Tents. Campers. Most of them were decorated with skeletons, pumpkins, ropes strung between trees like massive spiderwebs, flags and banners with zombies and witches, all behind the morning autumn mist.

Morning campfires filled the woods with the scent of burning pine and the distinctive musty smell of black walnut.

Children, at 9:30 AM in early autumn, rolled along on skateboards and scooters.

The campground itself covered the Hoffmaster State Park sign with a green skeleton, and put up banners for the campers telling them of a childrens' harvest festival.

On the way to the water's edge, golden maple and beech leaves rained in slow motion through the woods, along the pathway and through the trees, up the steep dunes.

The beach sand held a natural windswept cascading pattern, distinct from the summer pitted pattern from swimmers and sun bather walking along the beach. But humans, being a compuslively symbolic species still scrawled messages where the sand was wet and packed. Children's names. Brief messages of adoration. Designs made with sticks.

Other animals left their own patterns. Brief records of their existence along the shifting sands.

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