Scary Zucchini and Other Things . . .


Sometimes, you have to laugh at yourself, and being horrified of a Zucchini is one of those times . . .

My vegetable gardening endeavors are extremely limited due to the fact that I live in the “country” with wide open, natural space, full of various critters on all sides.

Critters love to have you grow things for them to eat.

So, I am always coming up with ideas to keep them away from my plants.

This is the first time I have tried growing Zucchini because it likes to grow along the ground  (at critter level) and that is hard to protect.

But, I had earlier figured out a way to protect my Poppies by building a sort of tower made of plastic hardware cloth, and topped with a large plant saucer (which actually works better upside down than it does as a “hat” as shown in the picture).

It looked like this . . .


Because the Zucchini is a vine, however, it soon created a jungle of gigantic leaves and twisty vines in there, and I couldn’t figure out what was going on.

So, one day, I took the “hat” off, and started parting vines and leaves to explore, and to see if any Zucchini had gotten started in there.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a LARGE, DARK SHAPE!

I jumped back – thinking “Oh no! Some critter got in there and died because it couldn’t get out!) I was thinking maybe a Squirrel from the size of the thing.

It took all my courage to go back in there. If Mark had been home, I would have talked him into doing it instead.

With great trepidation, I slowly parted the leaves to take another look. It wasn’t moving so it must be dead. Eeeeeeew!

When I got in there far enough, I discovered that my “critter” was the biggest Zucchini I had ever seen.

I laughed at myself until I cried, and I won’t even tell you what his truly had to say when I told him the story.

There was only one thing to do, and it is pictured at the top of this post.

Sauteed in olive oil and sprinkled with parmesan cheese and a special spice blend called “Capital Hill Spice” from Savory Spice Shop here in Santa Fe. (You can shop online).

Much better than Squirrel would have been.



  1. LOL!! priceless story … i’ve passed it along to some gardening friends. AND one of them is in SF frequently, so i suggested she stop in at the Savory Spice Store to check out their goods. thanks for the laugh 😉

  2. What!! No picture of the Large Dark Shape? We just had a possum die in our habitat? Anybody have a recipe for possum stew.

  3. I’m surprised it wasn’t a packrat nest. Watch your car.. With winter coming…..

  4. That is a funny story. I tried that around tomato bushes that were in pots on my porch when I lived in Kingman. For a couple of weeks everything was fine and then I got up one morning to – nothing. Nothing! There wasn’t anything left of two large tomato plants and no evidence of what ate them during the night. The cages were still intact. That was when I gave up there. I’ve tried to grow some stuff here in my tiny yard in Hemet, CA but only basil took off. No zucchini for me!

    I’m sure glad it wasn’t a dead critter. Those are not fun to deal with. Our goat’s water bucket would capture some animals on occasion and I always felt bad. It was so dry and here was something wet and it killed them. I did save a few but not many. I agree the critters in desert zones are really happy to see something edible and will try anything to get to it!

  5. Oh, I know what you are saying, Timaree, and I always feel bad – even about critters people don’t like like Mice. I keep two long sticks in my tall waste basket in the garden so they can get out. Why they get in there in the first place I don’t know – it’s EMPTY. I have a real “thing” about the sanctity of life, no matter how small, so I am a no-kill girl. None of these animals has an evil intent – they are just surviving the best they can, and I moved into their wild territory after all. Who am I to complain about the neighbors?

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