I was hoping this year to avoid getting physically involved with my zucchini, as I have tended to do in the past - it’s difficult to end some relationships, what can I say. But zucchini have needs. It is said that successful pollination of squash blossoms requires an average of ten pollinators, which seems a lot to ask, up here in the woods where zukes have never lived, historically.
This year, therefore, since in my ongoing naivete I planted a few zuke varieties, to ensure an optimal number of natural pollinators I planted a borage plant right beside each zuke patch, knowing that borage is a top bee attractor cum edible herb; plus the blossoms, which have “a sweet honey-like taste [are] one of the few truly blue-colored edible substances,” as Wikipedia puts it (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borage). The blossoms also look great floating on my wine. Not far behind borage in pollinator attraction is the nasturtium, which - in addition to its bright varicolored beauty - provides edible blossoms, leaves and capery seed buds.
Looked like a sure win-win, but as I often learn in the Big Vegas of Life, that jogging tunnel is just a painting on that stone wall. Apparently there hasn’t been a succulent full-grown borage plant up here on the mountain for a million years or so, because a few mornings after my two magnificent borage plants neared their full height, those big beautiful blossom-bunches were toppled into caterpillar fodder and the succulent leaves were the ghost of lace. It was a savage sight to see; better to turn away and think of pleasant things.
So bye-bye pollinators, if you were ever here. Within a week or so the nasturtiums had completely disappeared beneath the lush canopy of zucchini leaves over the dark rain forest of vigorous zuke stems and yearning male blossoms and the occasional coy female, but no zucchini.
Now I have to go out there early in the morning at open blossom time and physically introduce some wallflower male blossoms to some comely female zucchini blossoms, who are all just hanging around under there hoping for quick fruition. This kind of sordid activity can make one cynical, but more importantly, what if my neighbors see me? “Morning, Bob!”
Erotically speaking, though, Japan is a way old culture. I’m sure they’ve seen every strange thing at one time or another, though perhaps not this type of thing, especially involving a foreigner.
I’ll do my best to represent the West.