Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Frost on the Punkin'

I got up this morning and came to town to go to work. I noticed right off that it was chilly, but I didn't see any frost. By the time I got to the top of Benbow Hill the grass looked a little grayer, like it might be frosty. When I got to town, a few roofs were obviously frosty. So the fall weather is definitely here. I'm anxious to catch up at work so I can enjoy the Indian Summer. So, instead of doing a big complicated post, I'm going to leave you with an old-timey poem that I've always liked.

It reminds me of the family farm in Laytonville, and my days as a wee lad. There always seemed to be a great push to get everything done before winter set in. Sometimes when a rainstorm was threatening, the old folks would work late by the light of The Harvest Moon to get the garden and the orchard "in".

"When the Frost is on the Punkin"

James Whitcomb Riley. 1853–1916

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 the time 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 blossoms 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 overhead!—
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 cellar-floor in red and yaller heaps;
And your cider-makin's over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With theyr mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and sausage too!...
I don't know how to tell it—but ef such 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.

Makes you just hanker for some souse and cornbread, doesn't it?


Rose said...

Brrrr, just like that Fall is here. Turned overnight. It's kinda nice, but I will miss that wonderful summer we had last month.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the nice poem, Ern. Fall is especially lovely with it's adornment of colors and spicy fruity odors that go with; Cracklin' of a good hot fire to warm the chill of the night.

Anonymous said...

Well heck anyway. Cousin is enjoying a hot fire and I bet the ol' man has to keep it going. I do know it gets a little colder here than Laytontown and I am living in a big house with two wood stoves. I hope the wood holds out til spring.



we just got our firewood in for this season!THANK GOD!! they were under $5 a bag this time!!!!

Ernie Branscomb said...

I can't believe that the son of one of Southern Humboldt / Northern Mendocino greatest loggers would have a pellet stove????

Aunt Janet said...

I love this time of year, and all the industry to get the harvest in. We take WWOOFers on our farm. Willing Workers on Organic Farms. Just got two kids in this week to glean the tomatoes, bring in dried beans, sunflowers, etc. We put up about 50 quarts of tomato sauce, catsup, and stewed tomatoes! We are picking and selling strawberries again, too. Looks like I might have to can up the winter squash, since I didn't get it in before the frost, and they have some damage. We will be harvesting chickens and geese soon, as well. So, some of us are doing a bit of homesteading still. The harvest looks good!

Ernie Branscomb said...

Aunt Janet
We used to eat a lot of squash pies this time of the year. (Use the same recipe as pumpkin.) I prefer squash over pumpkin. They are a creamy color instead of the deep orange. (like I could tell the difference otherwise)

The one thing that I miss the most, is having my own garden. Somewhere along the line we figured out that we don't have the time for one. That, and we live on the north side of a hill. The weather is great in the summer though!


my dad would say i have a damn good boss now!and the boss does love her pellet stove!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Yer right, Oregon. But most of the wood is still green so it's his fault :(~ I still like to make believe it's cracklin' n poppin'even when it won't burn.

Anonymous said...

where's ERNIE?? up on top of a travel trailer fixin' the A/C unit??
thats where he was sunday afternoon!!

no rest rest for the WICKED,as my old MUM would say!!!

Ernie Branscomb said...

well, you gotta make hay while the sun shines.

Anonymous said...

Holly cow, I didn't think Maken'hay was working on an AC. Boy,I've missed out! But then again, it was in the sunshine so go figger'! ;)~ Gotta hand it to ya, Ern.