Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Frost is on the Pumpkins...

These are little pumpkins - New England Sugar Pie and Omaha [the egg shaped ones].   I love them.  They make me ready for cool weather.

And the weather is cool.  We've had our first frosts.   It always reminds me of James Whitcomb Riley's poem, 'When The Frost is on the Punkin'.

James Whitcomb Riley is a Hoosier and one of our favorite Indiana sons.   Riley told country stories and celebrated country ways.   He honored the rural in America.  He believed in writing in a conversational style and he used creative spellings to give a better sense of rural pronunciation. [Mark Twain did the same thing.]   Some of the critics disapproved, but the people loved them - and Riley wrote for the people.   Read his poems out loud.   They're amazing.

When the Frost is on the Punkin

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey cock
And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens
And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence
O, it's then's the times a feller is a-feelin' at his best
With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock

They's something kindo' harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossums on the trees
And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees
But the air's so appetizin'; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin' of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries kindo' lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin' sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below the clover over-head!
O, it sets my hart a-clickin' like the tickin' of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock!

Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the celler-floor in red and yeller heaps;
And your cider-makin' 's over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With their mince and apple butter, and theyr souse and saussage, too!
I don't know how to tell it but ef sich a thing could be
As the Angels wantin' boardin', and they'd call around on me
I'd want to 'commodate 'em all the whole-indurin' flock
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock!


  1. Ah, frost on the produce is never a good thing. I have to say, you have the best photos. I cannot wait for this weekend-your coming to my state and i get to see you! YEAH! Anyways, looking forward to the adventure and great post.

  2. Now THERE'S a poem that wants a banjo accompaniment!

    I am so in the mood for real fall it is ridiculous. We had a cold week or so, and now a bit of Indian Summer, but I'm ready for the changes. :)


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