Pumpkin Spice Pest Season

We have pumpkin woes at my house.

Earlier in the year, we realized a volunteer pumpkin vine had sprouted in our back yard. It spread and spread and flowered and flowered. I envisioned a bumper crop of orange gourds, going so far as to fantasize about homemade pies and homegrown jack-o-lanterns. What we got was one lonely little pumpkin that topped out about 6 inches in diameter. Nevertheless, I’ve conducted near-daily wellness checks on it, still taking joy in this unexpected, if modest, prize. I was only waiting for it to ripen before picking it.

Our home sits on a half-acre lot, so our yard is sizable. And in that big expanse, somehow a group of cucumber beetles knew to show up for the one single thing they could eat — our single solitary wee pumpkin.

Yellow beetle with black spots, eating a gourd.
Spotted cucumber beetle

Oh no, you don’t! We’ve already lost enough to the neighborhood deer herd. I wasn’t about to let this new pest win. I brushed the insects from the poor beleaguered thing (I’ve bonded with it, okay?) and brought it safely inside.

Small green (with a little orange) pumpkin on a countertop.
Wee little pumpkin

I’m not sure what I plan to do with it, other than let it sit in the dining room and look autumnal, but at least I have it.

As for jack-o-lanterns, the spouse and I picked up some nice big carving pumpkins from the grocery store, planning to cut our spooky designs two or three days before Halloween.

If only it weren’t for the hungry squirrels…

Large orange pumpkin with a large gnawed area

So it goes.


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