ZUCCHINI ‘BLACK JACK’ (Cucurbita spp.)

At the risk of boring some of you, I had to take some more photos of my Zucchini ‘babies’.

Trying to part the large leaves with one hand and hold the camera up close was quite a challenge yesterday.

MY LARGEST ZUCCHINI AT ABOUT 4″ long X 5.8″ thick.

I’ve changed the ‘picture style’ setting on my DSLR back to Standard, which is why the close-ups taken with my DSLR and Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 lens are rather pale (but more like their natural colour).

The images made with my Sony a6000 ‘mirrorless’ camera,, (while seated at my desk chair) at the end of this post, are made with the camera on Vivid picture style and are much brighter.

Of course the sun and light at the time of shooting also influences the overall image.


I now have SIX zucchini babies and this morning when I turned on my computer and sat down I noticed a couple of Harlequin bugs sitting on the flower/fruit (one close to the centre of the image below).  The zucchini on the right seems to have quite a curve in its growth pattern (below).  Perhaps it couldn’t get through the tangle of leaves and stems?  Since I’ve never grown zucchini before I can only guess.

Harlequin bugs are the pest that decimated my crops of nearly every single leaf last Summer. They even outshone the Cabbage Moth Caterpillars with their voracious appetites.  So far, they haven’t sucked the sap out of any Zucchini leaves, but as I type this post, I’m anxiously watching one Harlequin bug sitting on one of my smallest zucchinis.


Am I supposed to cut off some of these large leaves?  Or is the curved zucchini merely growing crookedly because the plants are growing in such a small pot and it’s ‘stunted’?  I’m also wondering if the zucchini will grow to a decent size at all?

If you’re a vegetable gardener, please let me know in the comments section.  Otherwise I’ll ask Mr Google later in the day when the household chores are done.

……..and here are the shots made a few days ago with the Sony a6000 on ‘vivid’ picture style (below).

As most of the longtime followers know I’m an amateur photographer first and a gardener second. but you have to admit there’s something really intriguing/fascinating when you look at  vegetable plant details up this close.  It’s almost like there’s a whole miniature world to visit and admire.

Actually Spring onions are one of the best vegetables to observe.  Mine usually grow about 2-3 inches every day.  I’ve just pulled the last one out to make room for another herb seedling friends gave me.

I went for a short walk (15 minutes for normal people, 2 hours for me) down to the nearest pond on Saturday, so when I’ve got time to review the afternoon’s photos and put together a post,  I have some bird images to share.

I have to admit that the pain in my right hip was so severe (despite an extra dose of painkillers), I vowed to never go for a nature walk again after I got home.  Sometimes I think nature walks will be permanently off the agenda now that my total hip replacement surgery has had to be cancelled and I’m limping around like a little old lady.  Other times, I think …..just one more tiny walk and I’ll happily retire from nature photography (and I push the pain limits), but I suspect I’m doing more damage to my hip by walking.  It’s a ‘wear and tear’ injury osteoarthritis, so the Orthopaedic surgeon said, not an ‘old age’ degenerative problem.

THE LOWER STEP (not far from my back gate) WHERE I CAN SEE OVER to FROGS HOLLOW NATURE RESERVE – about 100 feet away.
STANDING ON THE STEEP SAND PATH LOOKING BACK TOWARDS THE 2 STEPS AND THE PATH LEADING UP TO MY ‘BACK GATE’.  Did I tell you it’s very, very, very steep…..the path and my road.

I sat on the lower step down where the path leading to/past Frogs Hollow Nature Reserve starts, for a while after my short walk.  At that minute, 3 Superb Fairy-wrens came to the dried out remains of  an old withered wild Fennel(?) bush and kept me entertained for another 30-40 minutes.  Just goes to show, you don’t have to go far to catch a glimpse of the local bird life in my area.

These wrens were so preoccupied with eating the dried up seeds they didn’t notice me sitting on the step about 7-8 feet away.

It’s all a matter of opening your eyes and truly seeing the small details around you when you live in an urban area.

I think I will grow Zucchini as a permanent part of my balcony garden.  The flowers are so interesting the way they open and close .  Some are gnarled and knotted (the females with the fruit).  Others, (the males), are picture postcard perfect with their golden petals splayed out in a beautiful umbrella shape.

12 thoughts on “ZUCCHINI ‘BLACK JACK’ (Cucurbita spp.)

    1. Walking and photography were virtually all that I did since I had to quit working in 2010. Great for my back pain, but since my hip’s gone downhill, it’s just too painful in the last 12 months.

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    1. Some more photos of the wrens to come. Good to hear you’re going to plant some zucchini. For 20 years or more I never ate them finding them bland and then one day I bought some small young ones and steamed them and they were delicious and I’ve been buying them ever since. I don’t like large ones though. Now they……are really tasteless.

      I like small young vegetables usually. I don’t like anything oversized in veggies or leafy greens. My sorrel has got too big and turned too bitter so that’s coming out of the pot.

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  1. I agree about the young veggies being more tasty — especially zucchini and corn. Well, and beans, too. Everything, now that I think about it. I was going to say tomatoes, too, but then I realized they’re a fruit, and profit from a longer time on the vine, just like peaches on a tree.

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    1. I thought I was one of the few people around who preferred small sizes, Linda, so I’m glad to hear you agree. When you’re single like me, large items….even non-perishables are not cheaper in a larger size. Half goes rotten and gets thrown out which defeats the purpose of buying larger and cheaper, (or is in too large a packet and won’t fit in my pantry).
      The only time I really buy large amounts is when I’m having visitors for dinner….ehrr….one a year 😀

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  2. The zucchini (courgettes as we call them) look great. They are certainly getting pollinated, unless you are doing it by hand? I agree that the smallest ones are the tastiest. I also love the flowers dipped in batter and fried as they do it in Italy. I’m sorry about your hip. It’s tempting to do too much especially when you have as much of an eye for natural beauty as you do. I hope rest will help.

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    1. Yes, I’ve been reading some more about Zucchini (we call them Courgettes too). Fascinating plants now that I’ve watched them grow and fruit.

      I miss my walking outdoors. The fresh air, the sights and sounds of nature (as well as the exercise of stiff and painful joints), but after Saturday’s short walk with my camera gear, I’ve finally faced up to staying home mostly. I’ve gone from walking up to 15 hours per week to about 30-40 minutes per week and most of that around my home or going down to the ground floor to get my mail.


  3. I really enjoyed these photos and I’m so sorry for your hip pain. I wish there was something I could do!
    You’ve convinced me to try zucchini. I think k I even have a zucchini bread recipe somewhere.

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    1. Thanks Connie,

      I don’t know whether my (now) 8 baby zucchini will grow large enough to eat yet, but I really think they’re worth a trial run in your courtyard garden. I noticed powdery mildew on some of the leaves yesterday so cut them off. This is usually caused in dry spells when the plants are stressed.

      Apparently, some zucchini varieties crop really well over several weeks. The temperature heated up again here so maybe watering once a day in that shallow trough is not enough.


      1. I hope they grow well. Perhaps you are right about the water…as soon as I get my space…( I’m still waiting) I will certainly try to grow some.

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