No, it's not some symptom of a sexually-transmitted disease (but, I suppose it might be), this is a gardening blog, after all! It's not even Scooby, pictured above, who thinks he is my duck -- although his face certainly has red, warty things all over it. Poor thing!
This post is actually about an heirloom winter squash with the unglamorous name "Red Warty Thing". But, not having worked all of the kinks out of using Picasa to post my photos, it wasn't cooperating with me today to post more than one. I thought Scooby's photo was much more interesting! It's merely one of those strange coincidences that I happened to find the squash at the garden center around the time Scooby decided to "relocate".
First, the squash...Red Warty Thing is described as highly decorative, although to me, it sounds like a teenager with a bad case of acne! However, it is also apparently quite edible with "finely textured, sweet tasting flesh". Each squash may range from 12 to 20 pounds, when mature, which takes about 100 days. It requires consistent moisture so I will need to be diligent about watering because I plan on growing it in a container.
Now, back to Scooby. One of my neighbors (let's call him "Mr. S") bought two Muscovy ducks with the intention of fattening them up and eating them. He kept them in his son's yard, who happens to be my next door neighbor. Easter came and went, and the birds did not become the holiday meal, as intended. It turned out they were molting and the concensus was the resulting pin feathers would render them too difficult to pluck. So, they both lived another day, and another, and another.
Then, Mr. S. had the idea to mate the ducks. He planned on letting the babies hatch out, start his own flock for future consumption, then eat the parents. So, unaware of their impending fate, Scooby and his mate apparently did what ducks do and now she is on a nest. However, she wouldn't tolerate him being around at the moment, and has thrown him out!
Always intrigued by my geese when he lived in the yard next door, with nowhere to go, he ventured back over my way. First, he hung out by the fence, just gazing longingly at the girls. When they wanted nothing to do with him either, he decided to hang out in my front yard, under the shady maple trees. So, there he is, every morning, around 6:00 when I emerge to start my day...
Oh, and by the way, Mr. S. has now grown fond of the ducks and has decided not to eat them!