Walked down to the garden tonight to check on the last of things. The squash bugs were no longer even hiding--there were masses of them just hanging out on top of my pretty orange pumpkins. It took both a hose and a hoe to rescue these three.
I then turned the hoe on my pretty butternut squash vines. Their last thoughts were probably, "We're growing well! We're branching out, putting down roots! What have we done to deserve this early and tragic death?!?" And it's true--the squashes were growing very nicely from all outward appearances, but the second I watered them up came the swarms of squash bugs.
Vindictive as it sounds, I'd rather burn the whole garden down than feed the little plant suckers for another two months, so, sadly, the butternuts had to go.
On the brighter side of things though, even with all the problems we got 4 cooking-size pumpkins. With the heat we've been having, I haven't been in the mood to whip up any of my favorite, hearty, fall squash recipes. However, according to several cooking sites the pumpkins will keep for several months in the fridge so, to a certain extent at least, I've accomplished what I set out to do.