But while emptying out the compost cage to transfer a couple wheelbarrow loads of yummy goodness to the bed, I happened to notice a bird house gourd* hanging in a nearby fence. Then another, then a few more. All in all there were about a dozen of them, bigger than last year's purposely-grown ones, none with any bug damage at all, just waiting for me to dig through the Jerusalem artichoke stalks and pick them.
The thing is, we actually grew some last year on purpose. And a few actually made it to what passes for young adulthood for gourds, while the rest were destroyed by the Squash Bug Panzer Divisions. So I had tossed the survivors into the barn to dry them and when they rotted instead, I tossed them into a pile behind the compost cage. While I forgot about them, they did not forget about growing a bounty of damage-free veggies for me to give away to my sister-in-law for her art class. It's a win-win all around, except that I won't do that again, because I really have no use for gourds.
Instead, I dropped a couple of pumpkins back there, covered them with weeds and ivy, and we'll see what, if anything, grows next year.
* a functional name if there ever was one, as they are not much for eating but are just fine for various craft projects, including making Section 8** bird houses.
** Birds move in as soon as the paint is dry and the house is destroyed within a year.