Wednesday (18-October-2017) — New Jersey

Backyard Autumn Nature in New Jersey

In addition to the wildflowers, I also planted some seeds for Water Bottle gourds (also known as Calabash, Opo, or in Burma Boo Thee. It took nearly a month for the seeds to germinate inside. As such they didn’t get transplanted outdoors as soon as I would have liked. The plants started slow, but the electric fence kept the deer away. Finally, the vines started growing much faster and trying to climb as high as possible. At this point they produced some very big leaves. The first white flowers didn’t produce any fruit. The flowers opened at night, and closed once it got hot the next day. Finally, some of the flowers did develop some green gourds. When they got to be about the size of zucchini, the fruit turned brown and rotted. Finally, I did get a few that didn’t rot. They are not as long as the 40 inch long ones that my parents grew in Florida last year. The vines are still producing white flowers every night, but it is much too late in the season to expect anything larger. Once I turned off the electric fence, the deer came in and started eating the vines. Next year, I will try to germinate the seeds at least a month earlier, and make sure they get transplanted to a warm spot with lots of sunlight.

Fruit from a Water Bottle gourd. Autumn Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Leica T camera and 11-23 mm zoom lens (ISO 800, 23 mm, f/8, 1/80 sec). (David J Mathre)
Fruit from a Water Bottle gourd. Also known as Calabash, Opo, and in Burma Boo Thee. Autumn Backyard Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Leica T camera and 11-23 mm zoom lens (ISO 800, 23 mm, f/8, 1/80 sec). (David J Mathre)


Author: David Mathre

I am a scientist by training (Eckerd College, BSc; Caltech, Ph.D.). I worked for 27 years as a Chemist in the Pharmaceutical Industry developing processes to manufacture medicines for human and animal health. I now spend my time as a photographer and world traveler. My interests in photography include the natural world, wildlife, landscapes, skyscapes, and seascapes. I have traveled to over 50 countries over the last 10 years, often on Semester at Sea voyages. While at home in New Jersey, I spend time on a home renovation project and expanding my wildflower garden/meadow.

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