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I’ve been ignoring those displays of mums lined up outside the grocery store and popping up at our local farm stands.

It’s because these bright yellow and purple plants make me start thinking about the end of the tomato harvest, the end of bottles of Long Island wine shared on the back deck and no longer dressing my infant daughter in the cutest pair of denim overall shorts you’ve ever seen. Also, I’ll be reminded of how little my family used the pool this sumer, and that if you add up opening, closing and chemical costs, we spent about $237 per dip.

But take a ride out to Peconic and you’ll see some round, orange reminders that the days of running into the bay with abandon are in the single digits.

August has yet to end, but Krupski Farms set out the first pumpkins of the year sometime last week. More were expected to be unloaded yesterday afternoon.

And this isn’t produce trucked in from some slightly cooler climate. They were grown right in the Krupskis’ Peconic and Cutchogue pumpkin patches.

August 30 felt way, way too early to start thinking about fall gourds, but Mary Krupski told me that isn’t the case here on the North Fork.

“This is right on schedule,” she said.

The Krupskis sure love their pumpkins, but Mary said it’s her husband, Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski Jr., who keeps his eye out for that first pop of orange in the field.

“He gets what I call ‘over-enthusiastic’ about pumpkins,” Mary said. “He brought one home, like, two weeks ago. Al’s goal is to set them up for Labor Day.”

So, come this weekend, which marks the unofficial end of the North Fork’s summer, you can expect to see rows and rows of squash at the Peconic farm stand. And anyone who has ever spent time on the East End in the fall knows that means a large influx of pumpkin pickers and corn maze navigators looking for some fall fun.

The majority of U-pickers start visiting in mid-September and continue until October. The Krupskis stop picking pumpkins before the season’s first frost, Ms. Krupski said.

But if you’ll be on the North Fork this weekend, you can still expect blue skies and beach weather.

The forecast calls for a high of 80 on Saturday, 81 on Sunday and 83 on Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

That might not be what you’d call sweater weather, but it’s surely less oppressive than the temps we sweltered through earlier this month.

Once again, Labor Day is approaching and I feel like I didn’t get enough beach days, eat enough lobster, shuck enough corn, drink enough summer ale or go for enough family walks at dusk.

But I did get to do some of those things and I enjoyed them with my 2-year-old son and newborn daughter. And for that I am grateful.

Oh well, might as well raise a pint of Woodside Orchards cinnamon apple cider or Greenport Harbor Brewing Co.’s Leaf Pile Ale and toast to the end of another glorious East End summer.

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Mini pumpkins for sale at Krupski Farms in Peconic. (Credit: Vera Chinese)
Mini pumpkins for sale at Krupski Farms in Peconic. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Vera Chinese