That sound you hear (above) is me scoffing at "knowledge". Or lack thereof.
I did get in contact with Steve, who lived here before us and who planted watermelon AND cantaloupe three years (but not since) and informs us that ever since that time, "volunteers" sprung up, grew to about egg-size, turned yellow and dropped off. A few apparently ripened to maturity but not many.
OK. Now this information came as I sat in front of the Feed n Seed and I went in to see what they had to say. I brought my sample of fruit and spotty leaf in with me. They came back with "maypop"! "What?" " Maypop. As in may pop off anytime! They grow here in the wild"
"Are you sure? Because the former owner said he had planted cantaloupe here a few years ago and...
"NO that is a maypop!"
So Of Course, me being ME and all, I go to google it and a maypop may look like this thing, but it doesn't GROW like this thing so I am back to thinking it is a weak cantaloupe that perhaps has a fungus issue. It SMELLS like a cantaloupe and TASTES like a very small, underdeveloped cantaloupe or melon. And the flower doesn't smell at all, unlike what the maypop is described as doing. The maypop is in the passionfruit family. I almost wish it WERE a maypop because what I read is, it's edible!
This starts off looking like a watermelon, dark green with stripes. It gets to be @ the size of a LARGE egg, lightens in color to a yellow and then drops off the vine. It doesn't shrivel before it drops, like it isn't getting pollinated. It seems to be growing well and then goes bright yellow.
Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Up-date: Okay! Dan Gill to the rescue! It is NOT a maypop. THIS is a maypop, decidedly in the passionfruit family and what I have, I am beginning to be more and more certain, is cantaloupe.
Not particularly strong cantaloupe but cantaloupe nonetheless. I now have two, possibly three that have grown to @ baseball-sized fruit, still a sage green in color and still clinging to the vine.
It's like I have a dog, pregnant with puppies for the first time. Or something.