When the Frost is on the Punkin’

031I grew up in central Indiana where there were four distinct seasons. Although we loved to hate cold and gloomy winter, the Fall season that preceded it could be glorious. There is something about the brightly-changing leaves against crisp, clear blue skies that is especially invigorating. My birthday is in September, so maybe that had something to do with it too!

Then I moved to South Florida, the land of eternal summer. We knew it was Fall when a cold front FINALLY dipped the night time lows below 70 degrees! We never experienced a season of dramatic temperature and color change. I never missed winter all that much, but I did, sort of, miss Fall.

And now, our journey is taking us through the Fall season! We saw leaves beginning to show hints of color back in Yellowstone, and as we have progressed south and east, we are seeing more and more trees sport their lovely Fall attire. The mountains around Durango Colorado were lit up with bright yellow clumps of aspens. Santa Fe offered a few beautiful trees that slowly changed color during our stay. But now, here at our current spot near Bentonville Arkansas, the surrounding hills are brightening with glorious red, orange, maroon and yellows. For the first time in many years, I can shuffle through fallen leaves and marvel at God’s painting ability. There’s a cold nip in the air, pumpkins in the patch, and a corn maze just down the road.

The season reminds me of a poem I learned in my youth by Indiana poet James Whitcomb Riley:

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 the 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 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 somethin 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 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’ sermons 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 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 sausage, too!
I don’t know how to tell it – but if 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!


I lift a glass of fresh apple cider to toast the magnificence of Fall.

2 thoughts on “When the Frost is on the Punkin’

  1. Lisa Covey

    I found your blog on an Entegra Facebook page and am enjoying reading about your experiences. We also full time in our 2016 Anthem and have done so since April of 2016. I see from your itinerary you will be in Indiana in May- hope to meet you at Homecoming!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mbnorthrup Post author

      Thanks for your kind comment! We won’t make it to the homecoming this year – we are visiting family in Indiana and the timing doesn’t work. Hopefully, another time. Happy travels!



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