#245 - Draw Something
I have pickleworm, a.k.a. Diaphama nitidalis Cramer. Now, don't panic, it isn't contagious (at least not by Cyberspace contact) but it prevents me from growing certain cucurbits; cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, and the like.
When I first moved to this island in 1991 I attempted to grow a kitchen garden, and one of my favorite vegetables was a variety of winter squash the locals commonly but erroneously call "pumpkin." This plant was terrific - place it on fallow land and it choked out invasive weeds. It grew and grew and grew, and produced lots of fruit that was not only tasty, but a really good subject for still life renderings. Then, when I reached the point of readiness to paint my produce, pickleworm arrived!
Pickleworm is a nondescript grey moth which lays its eggs on a blossom. The hatchling caterpillars eat out the center of the flower, preventing the formation of fruit. Last year I planted some squash seed, and though I had scores of blossoms, the squash never formed. Then a miracle occurred. I say it's because I got sloppy. I stopped weeding the perimeters, and false staghorn fern and other viney unwanteds swallowed up a portion of the garden margin. My squash vines were able to hide a few of their blossoms under cover of the weeds. Fruit actually formed and thrived, and I was able to harvest three lovely "pumpkins." I don't know what was more rewarding, the soups and casseroles I made for consumption, or the photo I captured to turn into this drawing.
Lesson learned? Sloth isn't always a bad thing. If I hadn't let a few weeds into my garden, I would not have these lovely squash. Now I am looking for a similar reason to find saving grace in a lapse of housekeeping -- say, laundry piles, or dirty dishes? I know, Penicillin has already been discovered, but maybe there is something else out there for me to find. One can always hope!