On our front porch we usually keep a little Fall Tableau up until it starts to look "Christmasy" and it is time for those decorations. Nothing elaborate. A pumpkin, a few gourds, some corn. The odd purple things are a plant that I am too lazy to identify properly so I call it "Alien Cabbage". They stay viable quite late in the season, no doubt having been bred hardy on the dark, radioactive plantoid of their origin.
With my wife out of town for a few days I was given discretion with respect to when the Fall Tableau got taken out to the compost bin. The other day I looked down and saw that I was Too Late.
I don't know what kind of critter crept up in the dark and gnawed a hole in the pumpkin. So many generations, such a gulf of time that separates us from our cave dwelling predecessors.
But still there are hungry things that circle just outside the light, just beyond our doorstep....