Autumnal Tasks


Autumn is here, rustling all of the leaves

Soon ’twill be time to take care of the eaves

Last time we didn’t, we paid a big price

The eavestroughs were clogged, a magnet for ice


And speaking of leaves, I’ve had cause to wonder

Why don’t they stay near their trees over yonder?

Why does the wind blow them into our place

Why, when around them is so much free space?

Photo by Hamlin Grange

And speaking of wind, there’s a shutter gone loose

Far up near the roof, nearly high as the spruce

And if it should fall, it may land on our heads

Or just fly away as we sleep in our beds


And speaking of beds, there’s the garden to tend

And errors we really must hasten to mend

Those wild strangling vines and the tough creeping Jenny

You put up with one and you end up with many.


And speaking of errors, that tree we bought little

Has outgrown its place — but is fit as a fiddle

Too big to dig up but too nice to chop down

Which leaves us between both a smile and a frown


And speaking of digging, some pesky wild thing

Has me gathering stones, and I’m ready to fling

It’s digging  our daffodil bulbs from the soil

It’s making a mockery of all our hard toil


“You terrible wretch!” I shout, all dignity lost

(‘Cause bulbs must be planted before the hard frost)

“You do this once more and I’ll wring your foul neck!”

But Squirrel just smirks and says: “What the heck?”







Filed under A Good Home, Autumn, Autumn leaves, Trees in autumn

107 responses to “Autumnal Tasks

  1. Such a sweet shower– of verses demure–
    around all the hardships to acclimatize,
    that I am most confident, somehow quite sure
    all will be snug before the snow flies!

  2. Love the whimsical poem and the gorgeous photo!

  3. But Autumn brings color along with her breeze. She’s getting Mother Earth ready for the coming freeze. She lays a blanket that covers the ground to keep your bulbs warm as they sleep safe and sound. She also brings promises of hot apple pies and the beauty of pumpkin patches galore. :o)

  4. Thank you for the delightful giggle, Cynthia. And praise to Hamlin for the lovely picture. Creeping Jenny really can misbehave like a creep. I can relate to all of this. A storm warning made me gather hydrangea to dry, but of course I never checked the gutters—priorities you know. 🙂
    Blessings ~ Wendy

  5. Lovely poem, rhymes and musings on the magic and misery of autumn. 🙂 Somehow by the end, I had the story of “Twas the Night before Christmas” in my head? Maybe “Twas the Night before Autumn Equinox”…
    Thanks for the smiles and creative sparks Cynthia. I might have to go rhyme a while. 🙂

  6. So nice to see fall. I don’t get much of that here. And your words, just too cute, and a reminder of all I love/hate about the season. I don’t miss fall chores, but keeping the pool going year round is quite a task.

    • Ah, pools. How we love to swim in them, how we hate the upkeep…. The trees in fall really are dazzling. We drove through a grand valley today and I still gasped in wonder at the stunning colours.

  7. Very funny. I am getting the same cheek from the blackbird!

  8. Oh, very good – I wish I was a rhymster too! Every season brings its blessings and its curses it seems 🙂

    • Do you know how I started writing in rhyme? My language skills were very bad after ‘the troubles’ and to force myself to expand my vocabulary, I would write word after word till I had a sentence.Then I’d force myself to do the second line, but this time the end word had to rhyme. They were total nonsense, but I bless those rhymes.

  9. Lots of smiles here, what a witty ode to autumn. Also rueful chuckles, we have a roofer and a painter beavering away against the clock to weather proof this dear old house before the wet winter sets in.

  10. Very apt words! With the reverse seasons “Down Under” we’re going into spring so it’s lovely to read about autumn and see your charming photos!

  11. I loved this, Cynthia! We’re still waiting for our leaves to change. Beautiful photos!

  12. Reblogged this on John Cowgill's Literature Site and commented:
    By the lovely Cynthia Reyes.

  13. I have no poetic response…I just like it!

  14. Lovely photo and a great poem…I love fall so much!!! have a great weekend, xo Johanna

  15. Laurie Graves

    What the heck, indeed 😉

  16. A witty autumn poem from you and colorful autumn scene from Hamlin! I love the collaboration of word and picture!

    We have squirrels, but we don’t see too many of the tree squirrel variety. Years ago, coming home from work one night, a squirrel ran out in front of my car. I clipped the poor critter, but he wasn’t dead. I scooped up the poor little thing and put him in a box, thinking I would take him to the local vet for euthanasia. Little did I know he was not as bad off as I thought, and he was quite awake and “squirrelly”by the time I reached the vet’s office. They directed me to a wildlife rehab center, were he was taken next. Identified by staff as a male California ground squirrel, he spent the next month with them recovering from a broken leg. They called me and said he was all healed up and ready for release, hopefully a location near where he was picked up. I got permission from the farmer I knew who lived near the spot where I had hit this poor critter, to release him there in a field away from the road. I named him “Barney”, after the famous Barney and Betty Hill UFO abduction. I figured his experience must have been the closest thing to an alien abduction from a squirrel’s point of view. I can picture him trying to explain his month long absence to his wife back in the burrow. Knocked senseless by alien ship, beamed up by alien, taken to foreign planet where medical procedures were performed, kept for observation along with other hapless species, finally dumped off in field. I can picture her sitting there, looking at him and believing none of it. 🙂

  17. Delightful poem. Oh, those squirrels! Ours try to steal our peaches from the tree every year. They do haul away oranges from my neighbor’s tree.

  18. Wow! Those colours are wonderful. I love to see them. Here in central Italy there isn’t enough difference in day and nighttime temperatures to stimulate any colour.

    • But milder temperatures, Christina! Ah, that’s looking nicer as I contemplate the harsh winter of which we’ve been warned by the Farmer’s Almanac…

      • We’ve been warned it might be a cold winter here too but it doesn’t usually last very long and it is often sunny even when it’s cold so you’re right I wouldn’t want to swap with you.

  19. I like autumn colors ! In french we say : hot colors

  20. Murtagh's Meadow

    Lovely photo and great poem – made me smile

  21. What a delightful ode to fall! I can just see you flinging those stones. Your falls must be very beautiful. From our coast we must drive several hours to see fall foliage. Good luck on keeping the squirrels away!

  22. What a lovely poem, Cynthia. We’re into Springtime in my little corner of the world but I’d love it to be Fall again now (our Summers get far too hot) 😀

  23. A little hardware cloth over the bulbs will stop that.

    • I’m going to try that. I also have human hair that I should have buried with the bulbs. Never thought they’d disturb the daffs, which is why we plant them. Yesterday, someone else suggested emptying the contents of the vacuum cleaner and pouring a bit in each hole. Ever heard of that?

  24. I love your poems Cynthia! This one gave me such a giggle – which is just what I needed after a trying day!

  25. I think our squirrels say the same thing.

  26. I’m always happy to see one of your poems, Cynthia! You are so good at getting the rhythm and tone just right. My mom used to write similar fun and whimsical poems and I know it isn’t that easy to do.

  27. [D] “that tree we bought little Has outgrown its place — but is fit as a fiddle.
    Too big to dig up but too nice to chop down – Which leaves us between both a smile and a frown” This set me up for the rest of the day!

  28. I’m smiling as my list of to-do’s grown for Fall.

  29. Reblogged this on Serenaded Softly and commented:
    I enjoy her blog so much. She is such a thoughtful and inspiring author.

  30. As much as I enjoy their antics, I agree with you on those squirrels now, Cynthia. They are digging up everything everywhere burying nuts, and there seem to be many more squirrels than last year. Good luck with all your chores – hope you’re having some mice sunny weather to accompany you.

  31. Or nice sunny weather … that would be better, I think. 🙂

  32. I love the way your exasperation in what there is to do turns to humour 🙂 Still, it gives me a sense of the cosiness of autumn, preparing to batten down the hatches for the winter to come.

    • I like that. Autumn does bring thoughts and feelings of coziness. Woodfire, hot cider or hot chocolate, woolen throws, a good book or laughter with friends. A great time of year for us northerners.

  33. Autumn falls
    Result in sqalls
    But here in Spain
    Once again
    We plant to gain
    As we sow
    Our crops will grow

    Gah! I hate rhyming poems 😀

  34. You made me smile on a wet miserable morning.

  35. I think you wrote that poem directly for my life. Such fun words with true meaning for most of us. Wonderful read for a dreary Monday morning! Tina

    • Well, I always look for the bright spots, especially in Autumn and Spring, so this time, I decided to think about the less beautiful chores associated with fall! Good to hear from you, Tina. Happy Autumn.

  36. Marvellous! Leaves always end up where they shouldn’t! Naughty squirrel …

  37. Beautiful writing and photos, thanks for the smiles. Squirrels sure are pests they will not hesitate to give themselves treats from my garden.

  38. Delightful. I loved this poem, Cynthia. A perfect rhyme for autumn 🙂

  39. Although a nuisance, all these pesky issues fall can bring, it’s a delightful poem. 🙂

  40. Haha, it is difficult to argue with a squirrel. You will probably have to bribe him. Sunflower seeds may be? 😉

  41. Well if this is one of the nonsense poems you were referring to, I love it! The way each stanza refers to the line above. I think it’s not easy to write good rhythm and rhymes and i love them.
    …and my master gardener friend says to plant a piece of chicken wire above each bulb. I asked him in desperation after a little chipmunk did the same with my crocus bulbs.

  42. Autumn is by far my favourite time of year. I have many posts about autumn so I would appreciate it if you would check out my blog:

    thanks! 🙂

  43. Ah that ‘too big to dig up but too nice to chop down’ is the story of my gardening life!

  44. So true got to love the pesky squirrel

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