Roast mystery squash and parsnip
The mystery squash have finally met their end. They were chopped up, peeled, tossed with olive oil, and roasted. Along with a parsnip, just in case they tasted weird. Weird they were, but not too weird. Some tasted like overgrown zucchini, some like bland winter squash, some like a wild grassy feral relative of squash. On the whole, roasted mystery squash is a fine dish to be part of a holiday meal.
Thank you, mystery squash!
The Three Stooges of squash
Last night, the real reason I was drawn out to look at the Moon was because my Michael had came in, noting that there were slugs all over one of the mystery squashes. Yes, slugs made those holes on Larry the Squash. Since slugs are so good at detecting when strawberries are sweet, I wonder if that means the squash is ripe. In any case, that made it time to bring the squash in, if only to protect them from the slugs. You’re safe for now, squashes, at least until I come back from NERAX North.
The two mystery squashes are definitely different squashes. One looks to be descended from a sugar pumpkin that went rotten last winter, the other from one of the acorn squashes I ate. It’s nice to have a clear idea what they are, but no way are they going to ripen before the first frost hits. Shhh! Don’t tell them! Let them have their squash dreams.
It’s starting to look like the mystery plant will be revealed. Perfect round balls are developing ridges. Acorn squash again. Every fall, I keep getting various squashes, but I’m no longer sure how much I actually like winter squash. So I no long care that I probably won’t enjoy the fruits of the mystery plants. I’m glad enough to see the bees enjoying the flowers.
I’m beginning to think we’ll never know what the mystery plants are. The grey weather has descended. Some of the leaves are showing a dusty white rust of doom. But still the various mystery flowers open a bright yellow. Still they are foolish enough to keep setting fruits. And at least one green Agapostemon
bee is finding shelter in the flowers. (Maybe some fruit flies, too.) So enjoy the mystery while it lasts.
Mystery plant groping for the exit
The mystery plant is definitely acting like a squash of some sort. It’s sending out tendrils as far as it can reach, as if it were trying to get away. From what? Is it trying to hide from the squash bees?
Female mystery flower
Okay, a mystery female flower has appeared. With these squashlike flowers, the females have a mini fruit underneath, shaped like the fruit to come. This narrows things down a bit. Round and smooth. Hmmm. Some kind of melon, maybe? I tried planting Sugar Baby watermelons earlier, but that was last year. And the mystery plants are turning up in way more places. I still think it’s something that got composted. Now I’m thinking cantaloupe.
Mystery blossom with a throat full of water
Just what we need — more rain! It’s so wet the blossoms on the mystery plant are full of water.
The first of the mystery plants greeted the morning with a bright yellow flower. A male flower. When the female flowers appear, they’ll have mini-proto-fruits at the bottom, and we’ll finally have the best clue as to what the mystery plants are.
Growing mystery plant
I’m confident now that the various mystery plants are not sunflowers. They’re spreading wide, not tall. The leaves are round, not heart-shaped. They don’t have the deep lobes and frills of watermelon leaves. (Too bad!) That leaves squash or cucumber on the list of possibilities.