HILLSIDE DISTRICT -- Patrick Dougherty is proud to say his 8-year-old
son, Matthew, designed and cut the family pumpkin almost all by himself,
and that the scary-faced jack-o'-lantern will sit ominously on the
Doughertys' front porch until Halloween.
The Dougherty family was one of several who attended a pumpkin-carving
event at Stough Canyon Nature Center Saturday afternoon during which
pumpkins were designed and cut for Halloween with the help of the nature
"It was a lot of fun, and it's a special time for me and the kids to
spend together," said Dougherty. "We had a blast. We also got to take
advantage of everything they have to see at the nature center."
Dougherty said he and his wife, Linda, and their sons Matthew and
12-year-old Marcos also learned about coyotes, raccoons and reptiles that
live in the Verdugo Mountains. With the help of plaster casts of
footprints, kids and adults could see what the real animal footprints
Nature center staff made sure to instruct those who attended about
safety precautions when using sharp-cutting tools, and assisted children
with cutting if necessary.