When the Frost is on the Punkin

Posted: October 29, 2014 in Nature, Photos, Poetry
Tags: , , , , , ,

There were no punkins/pumpkins in the park last week when I took an early morning walk, but there was plenty of frost, at least until the sun rose high enough to touch it.  I thought it would be fun to pair a few of the photos I took with James Whitcomb Riley’s poem.


When the Frost is on the Punkin

By James Whitcomb Riley

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. Steve says:

    What a brilliant poem!

  2. Beautiful photographs and they compliment the poetry very well..

  3. Lisa says:

    pretty 🙂

  4. wow. Loved reading the poem and looking at the pics.
    I don’t think I ever read that one before.
    Loved the language, the description of life so remote from ours, and the wish to accommodate angels at the end of life’s season. Very nice, very powerful, and rhythmic.
    It’s a little hot down where I am so at the end of the season, I might worry about different spiritual beings wanting me to accommodate them.
    I better double up on my prayers and think nicer thoughts.

    • Randy, I hadn’t read the poem for years, but it’s really a good one. Glad you liked the photos,too. I thought they came out rather well. I don’t think even the Florida heat is close to what you’re referring to so you’d best mend your ways!! Of course if it’s dry heat… 🙂


  5. […] When the Frost is on the Punkin. […]

  6. Ah.. this is beautiful… We have not had any frost yet.. October is so warm so I cannot remember the last time it’s been like this (probably it hasn’t .. I wasn’t born the last time)…

    • Pretty much typical weather here, Björn, sometimes warm, sometimes cool, getting colder. We had a very cold and snowy winter last year, which is good for moisture. In Wyoming, where we go each summer, there was 130% of the normal/average snow, a huge blessing.


  7. Great post. Love the poem and your photos. 😀

  8. Growing up in the Midwest you where always looking for the frost on the pumpkin at this time of year.

  9. Amy says:

    Beautiful, both poem and photos!

  10. […] Fog The Highwayman When the Frost is on the Punkin A Ballad of […]

What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, that or the other thing.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.