Pumpkin Peduncles

It’s the hallmark of poor writing: using a fancy-pants word like ‘peduncle‘ when a simpler word like ‘stem’ would do.

Honestly though, weren’t you just a little curious when you saw the title?  Would you have made it to the second paragraph if I titled this post “Pumpkin Stems?”

While you ponder that question (and thanks, by the way for reading this far) I’d like to share a pumpkin peduncle, or two. When choosing pumpkins over the years, the shape of the stem seemed integral to the process.  We display our pumpkins whole for a time, then carve them the day before Halloween. Part of the carving process is the ‘lid.’ Peduncles matter. They provide character to the overall effect.

jack o lantern collage

Our resident pumpkin carver extraordinaire

ladybug in stem closeup

Ladybug in a pumpkin stem

Now that we grow our own pumpkins, we’re careful to preserve as much of the stem as possible. Some are already dried at harvest time, while others remain open and soft. I recently discovered a ladybug sheltering inside one of the stems, a welcome respite from all the squash bugs currently residing out back.

pumpkin with squash bugs

Great potential until the squash bugs moved in

I present to you this years pumpkin peduncles, along with the challenge of using this word in a sentence between now and October 31st.

pumpkin peduncle

A neat little cap

pumpkin peduncle

Hershey’s Kiss peduncle

ladybug in stem

Ladybug Hideaway

the pumpkin crew

The pumpkin crew

21 thoughts on “Pumpkin Peduncles

  1. I love the word ‘peduncle’ I have never heard it before and am most happy to add it to my vocabulary. As a great believer in using six words when just one may have been sufficient, but may not have conveyed precisely my meaning – and adding in a tad more for flavour and interest wherever possible as I like juicy words – I think perhaps that ‘peduncle’ is right up there with ‘discombobulated’ and ‘peregrination’. I shall inquire of my local vege supplier if he checks his pumpkins for healthy peduncles and see what comes back 🙂

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    • Wow! That was an impressive sentence, Pauline. I’m tempted to go back and count the words, but I never was good at math [smirk]

      I *love* that you plan to drop that word at your veg supplier. Please report back. 🙂

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      • Reporting back: As luck would have it I was close to the container loaded with ‘the last pumpkins of the season’ when – believe it or not – Frank wandered by. ‘Really?’ I said ‘Yes’ he replied – ‘From now on they’re too dry, not good eating!’ He looked glum. ‘I like my pumpkin soup.’ I said encouragingly ‘and I make a nice pumpkin chocolate chip cookie’
        ‘Best get you a couple of good ‘uns then.’ he said. We leaned over the pumpkin pile and I readied myself to inquire – but then disaster struck – my mind went blank ….. Flippin’ heck, I’d forgotten the noun! ‘What do you call these things?’ I asked lamely touching the dried and truncated stem of a pumpkin. Frank gave me a pitying look ‘Pumpkin stems!’ he said and he strode off to the counter with my two peduncle-less pumpkins in his arms………….

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  2. Geez Louise Alys, you’re buggy post may give me nightmares. That poor, poor pumpkin, it’s right out of Amityville Horror….that’s right! I’ll say it…… Alysville Horror, LOL. Thank heavens for Mikes talent to wash the bugginess from my eyes. That guy has ‘mad pumpkin talent’. Is that ‘The Lone Ranger’ on one? Amazing.
    I’ll have to give you challenge some consideration earlier during the day…mmmm Peduncle, that’s a funny word. BTW, that Pauline cracks me up sometimes. 😀

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    • LOL LOL LOL Alysville Horror. You’re good!

      They are disgusting, aren’t they? They rounded the corner and headed for my harvested pumpkins as well. I had to clean them off and bring them indoors pronto or that would have ended them.

      Mike does a great job with those carvings. I would never have that kind of patience but he really enjoys it. The one your reference is a pattern called the headless horseman. It’s a favorite.

      Pauline is great fun. She’s a clever crafter, wordsmith and cat-lover. Have you seen the dreamy Orlando?

      Thanks for popping in. I know you’ve been the busy traveler. Can’t wait to see your cute little feet on my doorstep later this month. xox

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    • Will, those are all my husband’s carvings. He’s amazing. He has tiny saws, punches, and tools that he uses to get around tight corners. My favorite (not pictured here) was the year my then five-year-old asked him to carve Max of the Max and Ruby story books. Mike made a pattern and carved our own adorable Max pumpkin.

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  3. It’s going to be a grand day. I learned a new word, I laughed out loud, and saw beautiful art along side nature doing what nature does. Can it get any better? That’s a really great word by the way. 🙂

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  4. Pingback: Halloween Prints | Tin Whiskerz

  5. Pingback: Halloween Cards: Crafting from my Garden – Gardening Nirvana

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