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

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!” all my dignity’s lost

(Those 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?”


110 thoughts on “Autumnal Tasks”

  1. 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)

  2. 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

    1. I love the idea of you giggling, Wendy. In fact, that made me giggle! I like the idea of Creeping Jenny as a creep – it IS a creep. And yes, my dear gardener friend: I know about priorities….

  3. 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. 🙂

    1. Your poems are true poems, Brad. Soulful creations. Mine are mischievous rhymes. And now you have me wondering if The Night Before Christmas was in my head as I wrote ….

      1. LOL. I wanted to write a clever poem as response but my muse wouldn’t cooperate. XD I enjoy your playful rhymes and may return to writing some. I’m glad we enjoy each others writing.

  4. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. But you’re too gracious to gather stones for the throwing! If I ever hit one, I’d be in tears, but thank goodness my aim is bad enough to simply scare the little blighters.

    1. 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.

  5. 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.

      1. Sounds a good plan! I find February especially can be a tad hot for my liking though it’s a Mediterranean climate here in Perth so the humidity isn’t high. Most of the year it’s lovely 🙂

  6. 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. 🙂

  7. 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.

      1. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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) 😀

    1. 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?

      1. I haven’t ever heard of that. I’m not sure what it would do.
        I wonder if you use bone meal on your bulbs. I stopped using it because it attracts animals. They dig them up to get at the bone meal and you find all your bulbs untouched and lying on the soil surface. Superphosphate will stop that from happening.

  10. 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.

  11. [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!

    1. Oy vey. Plus all the others we haven’t thought of yet, right? Hope you and yours are all well, Oscar. I’m just catching up — daughter’s wedding, out of town guests and all.

  12. 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.

      1. Mice or nice – whatever makes your chores go more happily. 🙂 Of course, I can see a small chorus of mice standing to the side serenading you with harvest songs while you work, so maybe mice …. )

  13. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

  14. 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.

    1. Thank you for liking it! I’ll have to try out the chicken wire. I honestly never thought the critters would unearth daffodils, because they don’t eat them (as far as I know…)

  15. Delightful, Cynthia! I think your brain works a bit like mine (thought yours is much more creative!): one thing reminds you of another thing which reminds you of yet another thing, ad infinitum! You were so clever to turn that autumn-train of thoughts into a poem!

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