Saturday, August 25, 2012

Slug Bug

1968 VW Beetle (Bug) courtesy "myoldpostcards" on Flickr
In the late 1970's I saved up my money made from being a summer lifeguard to go towards buying a 1968 Volkswagen Beetle aka Bug.  My parents supplemented the balance of the purchase.  It had a new rebuilt engine and was oxidized orange.  The original color was red as revealed in the interior.  I had a sand block and sandpaper and began to sand away the orange paint.  This is one job I will never do again; but because I didn't have the money, I exerted the energy and time that I had in abundance.  Once I finished with the super fine steel wool it was off to the paint shop to be painted red.  It looked great.  I pampered my bug by covering it when it wasn't in use.  Me and my dog Lucy would cruise all over the place but mostly enjoyed the pastures in the hills at the mouth of the Kern River Canyon.  We would provide many points for anyone playing "Beetle" or "Slug Bug". 

I never played the Slug Bug version growing up.  We played Beetle on long road trips from Bakersfield to San Ardo.  Bugs = 5 points.  Red bugs = 10.  Beetle Vans = 15 points.  Red beetle vans = 20 points.  Today, I play a similar game in the garden.  While working in the Pumpkin Patch, I pick, smash and squish Squash Bugs.  Those beastly pests are carrying on and reproducing like mad in the pumpkin patch.  Insects and eggs can be counted in the score.  I look forward to the cool fall morning when there will be no points scored.  So far, I'm holding my own with these fornicating beasts.
Courtesy North Carolina State University
I know they outnumber me by a huge margin; but I keep on fighting the fight in order to try to win a few pumpkins this fall.  Seeds of Jarrahdale Pumpkins left over from 2011 were planted July 3, 2012.  Germination occurred just 3 days later.  Today, I spied a plump little pumpkin forming during my morning game of Beetle.
Jarrahdale Pumpkin
The plants seem healthy and vigorous with many blooms, tendrils, and healthy green leaves to provide shade to the rich soil in the raised bed.
Jarrahdale Pumpkin blooms
Pollinators of all kinds are enjoying the blooms of late summer.  Hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies have been zooming in to sample the pollen.  It would be nice to have some fresh pumpkins to make pies at Thanksgiving.  I'll do my best to win the game of "Beetle".


dorothy said...

I, too, was the proud owner of a "bug" in the late 60's. Mine was mint green, not the original color I'm sure, but I loved that little car and they were everywhere! I'm sure you will win the Beetle game in your garden!

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

I've been very successful saving my squash crop by using Duct Tape against the eggs and nymphs- works on the ugly brown adult squash bugs too. Fold it backwards like a sticky bracelet and press against the eggs on the leaves, do it every day or two. The hatchlings get suck on it. Then fold and go to the next leaf. I bring the whole role with me. I have so much squash I don't even know what to do with it. Good luck.


*Kathy - That's a pretty slick idea. I keep my rubber tipped gloves on and simply smush them. Your method may be more effective.