Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Death of Squash

Today I heard sand slowly pouring through the hourglass as the Death of Squash tapped its foot waiting for my zucchini. It should have died in August following the usual behavior of squash in my garden, but it held out. Now the zucchini is dying. It is starting to wilt even though it has plenty of water. A squash often wilts in the heat of a hot sunny day. But this photo was taken in the morning - trust me you didn't want to see the afternoon photo. Poor thing. Done in by borers. It has one zucchini left on it maybe it has one last gasp before it heads off.

I was thinking I was inundated by squash. I have two yellow squash in my fridge and one zucchini. I was thinking of grating and freezing the excess. But I may have to hoard them if this is the last of the zucchini. They will hold for a week in my fridge easily enough. Probably more. It is amazing how long fresh produce lasts when picked from the morning in the garden. My lettuce can last two weeks. Whereas store bought lettuce has trouble making it all the way through one week.

And I confess I've been really appreciating the zucchini. Not so much for its flavor by itself, but it makes a wonderful addition to stews. I grate it up and it disappears but adds a subtle flavor that I like. Recently I've made Mediterranean Stew and a Mexican bean and rice casserole. I loved them both. Especially the Mexican dish since I grew up on that food. It was the main ethnic food that you find in the Colorado mountains where used to live. And you always fondly remember the food of your youth.

I'm actually a little surprised it is the zucchini that is dying fastest. I expected it to be the yellow squash. It has lost so many leaves to mildew (you can see the white mildew dots on its older leaves). But no. It still lives. It isn't even wilting yet in the afternoon. It isn't as prolific as the zucchini but it does a good job for its size. Even if it has decided to move to the middle of my path and trip me each time I need to go by.

The good news in the garden is the raspberries. They are really starting to come into their own. I pick them every morning for my cereal, but as my husband pointed out this weekend, I have more raspberries than cereal in my bowl. Not really a problem for me.

As I was picking them, I was noticing the sleeping bees as usual, but then I saw a tree frog on the leaves. He was maybe an inch to an inch and a half long. Wow. I've never seen one of those in the garden before. We have tree frogs in New England? I looked it up on the web and we have two kinds, neither one looked like the plain brown frog I saw, but then I didn't see it long. I ran into the house for the camera. When I got back he was gone. Maybe he will visit again tomorrow.


  1. Sorry about your zucchini, but you had an excellent crop this year. I wish ours had done better. Maybe next year. Those raspberries look so delicious in your cereal! I am so jealous, :-)

  2. Oh, I agree with you on the proportion of raspberries to cereal! Those are my favorite.

    I have never seen a frog of any kind in my garden (zone 6)

  3. Your raspberries are beautiful! The blackberries in my yard are coming to an end now. :( I hope you can get a pic of that tree frog soon!

  4. I've met Death and Death of Rats, but Death of Squash? What does he/she look like? Must not talk much or he/she would would have appeared in at least one tale. Maybe there is also a Death of Cabbage.

  5. Thanks all. I've never seen a frog here before in my garden either. Even when I had a water garden. Lots of toads, but never frogs.

    Alan: You didn't know that Death of Squash disappeared much like Death of Fleas, never to be heard from again? Except of course he visits my garden regularly. He is a dried out hulk of a squash. His head looks just like a shriveled jack-o-lantern above his black flowing robes. He holds his scythe on a browned leaf stalk. His steed is a huge orange and black vine borer. The Death of Cabbage never existed, because really, cabbages never die in Discworld. The fields of cabbages live in perpetuity stinking up the world. And I must say I'm quite happy that someone actually got my reference. I put it in for my son to give him a laugh.

  6. I couldn't actually live in a world without Terry Pratchett. Death is my favorite character with Commander Vimes and Granny Weatherwax battling it out for second.