When the Frost is on the Pumpkin

This postcard was part of Amelia’s pile. It is unused and has some condition issues, but the content is interesting. It shows two boys in autumn with corn and pumpkins, and the caption reads “When the Frost is on the Pumpkin.” What does this phrase mean?

There is a poem by James Whitcomb Riley called “When the Frost is on the Punkin.” The first section reads:

“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.”

I take this to mean when it’s cold enough for frost to be on the ground, it means autumn is here and it’s time for farming- pumpkin season is in October.

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