Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Big Wilt

We have been invaded.

Last night I half expected Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier to come running out of the dark woods. The hounds were baying in surround sound; on the ridge top directly above, out at the road and in the valley just below. Gunshots had been heard. Klieg lights swept through the tree tops and down on the ridge top garden. Muffled voices crept between the constant long barks. They were getting too close for comfort.

Hoooo Weeeee Hoooo Weeeee. There is a house down here! Hoooo Weeee.

Two hounds came huffing down the hill to the base of the stairs, sniffing. They turned and headed down the drive. Within a couple of minutes the commotion along the ridge top quieted, a truck drove away out on the road. The call of the hounds receded further down the mountain.

That I can live with, but something has invaded the cucumbers and that just bums me out. It must be the dreaded bacterial wilt spread by the cucumber beetle.

Cucumbers are their favorite target, but squash and melons are also susceptible to the wilt. Two of the Delicata squash and one whole row of cucumbers have been zapped. Another whole row of cucumbers, minus one plant is fine. The diseased row has been reseeded. Despite the wilt there are already three jars of refrigerator pickles made up and marinating and no shortage of cucumbers in multiple recipes. The vegetable garden produces plenty and adds much to the table.

Cute baby Cantaloupe grow bigger next to the larger Delicata and Butternut Squash that have set fruit. These will all be for a late summer harvest unless they get unusually big before then.

The patient wait for the first ripe tomato continues. The corn for the racoons grows taller. It could be that with coyotes and baying hounds regularly about, there just might be some corn for me.

What will the new night bring to this mountaintop?


Blackswamp_Girl said...

They sure ARE cute! Bummer about the cucumbers, though.

I always thought that I would be sturdy enough to live on a mountaintop... but maybe not. I don't think that I could handle being "invaded" by local hunters, that's for sure.

Siria said...

We used to get hunters our way, but not any more. I think they must have all gone over the mountain over your way. :) What unsettles me is to hear the cayote.

Your garden looks great! Can't believe how fast it has grown up. Things sure are busy on your mountaintop between building, gardening and hunting. Did you finalize on a paint color?

Kim said...

Yes, I want to know the paint colors, too. :-)

Christopher C. NC said...

The paint color is proving to be an elusive quarry. The one missing Valspar color swatch in the rack at Lowes was the main wall color for the house and the colors on the swatches are totally different than what I was seeing on the computer. The near neighbors of the missing swatch were so not the color in my head or on the computer screen.

I need to spend some more time at the color swatch display now that some color themes are sort of settled. Still I need the roof to come so I can see its real color. I doubt its color on the computer is true either. The roof trim boards will be all sanded, primed and made ready to paint while I hunt for a color group that grabs me.

lola said...

Your garden looks just fine. Mine has played out except for banana peppers. Seems that is the only thing I can grow. Just picked the last of Bush Beans & pulled the plants up getting ready to plant something else in their spot.
Sounds as tho you had some excitement. We use to get that at our place in the mtns. Hopefully they will all learn that you live there & not invade your space.

lisa said...

I get some gunfire in the woods around here, too. Luclily not too close (yet). No dogs, though bears are hunted up here regularly, usually over bait piles. (Rather unfair!) Guinea hens would really patrol the plants for all manor of worms as well as ticks), but they can be destructive in their own right. (Not to mention a dinner bell for predators far and wide.) Love the sunset pic!

Frances, said...

HI Christopher, the beginning of your story sounds very frightening to me. I guess I am a city girl, or small town anyway, no gunshots in the air, but the occasional dogs barking at the garbage truck. ;-> Darn those cucumber beetles, good thing you have lots for everyone. Yum to the pickles. So far we have been able to eat what has been picked, but I can see that we are not going to be able to keep up soon. I had fun on the paint site with color combos, using my house color, stone grey and ivory trim with different doors just for fun. Can't wait to see your choices.

Christopher C. NC said...

This was the most ruckus the hunters have ever made. I think it was about running the hounds, they don't do that for all hunting, and they just chased something up one of our trees. There are bear in these woods.

Yea darn those cucumber beetles Frances. I could be drowning in pickles instead of just swimming in them. They are already creating a refrigerator space issue.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

A full moon sure brings out the spookies.

Anonymous said...

Where I live now, the only place with enough sun for veggies is in large pots on our dock (Yeah, I know I'm lucky.) For 3-4 years now the cuke wilt beetles have yet to find the plants. Eureka! Only time I've ever avoided the wilt.
I have heard row cover laid over the plants during the egg-laying period will prevent these beetles, but I've never tried it. Supposedly you have to take it off in time for pollinators to get to the flowers, so timing must be difficult.
Enjoy those pickles, though!