Saturday, February 18, 2006

Deer security line breached...

I don't have much time.

Huge herds of deer roam our suburbs - like the bison that "blackened the plains of the American West" as the cheesy textbooks say, they roam free, chewing up whatever they please. They like expensive landscaping materials best. They also like tulips - I've seen them delicately dig the bulbs out of the ground with their hooves. They demolish our native plants (they have a particular liking for passion plants and strawberry bushes).

Since nobody in the suburbs shoots deer, they are fearless. If you walk up to them they continue chewing, broken corpses of tomato plants hanging out of their mouths.

A few years ago I got so irate after watching a deer delicately lift itself up on its hind legs and eat the entire top off a sweet little dogwood tree, I googled my problem and found wimpy and unsuccessful solutions like these:
  1. Hanging "Irish Spring" soap from branches;

  2. Buying coyote urine and sprinkling it around one's perimeter (must be reapplied after every rainfall);

  3. Planting aromatic herbs around precious items (you think deer can't step over/on aromatic herbs on their way to the tasty treats?);

  4. Planting nothing BUT aromatic herbs. This was the solution of a neighbor who used to have the best garden anywhere. The deer ate all her hundreds of prize daylilies - they pull them completely out of the ground, roots and all - so she now grows only lavender and mint.
I knew that if I tried one of these wimpy solutions, it would be unsuccessful and I'd have to escalate.

So I decided to go immediately for the ultimate solution. I bought 1550 feet of deer fencing from Benner. Some other day I'll tell you about how I put up that fence by myself. For now, it suffices to say that for three years I've gotten out of my car and opened the gate and driven through and closed the gate every time I leave the house. And it's been totally worth it. I LOVE seeing the herds of deer munching along the deer fence line - ON THE OTHER SIDE. My ex-husband lives on the other side. They are eating HIS stuff. They can't get to mine. Ultimate delight.

The problem is, though, if somebody leaves one of my six gates open, the deer come through (five or six times in three years). The deer instantly forget how they got in and ricochet around throwing themselves against the fence until something bad happens. Urging a crazed deer towards an open gate is a ridiculous, time-consuming endeavor.

Last night I got back from taking Menticia home (after our Illustration Friday afternoon), opened the deer fence, drove through, closed the deer fence, drove halfway down the driveway - and saw the sight I dread to see - a deer where it shouldn't be, crossing the veldt on MY side!

I'm so crazed and irritable about deer, I got a flashlight and walked my perimeter - in my clogs! In the woods in the dark! Because I wouldn't take the time to change into work shoes! - to find out where it got in. I feared a huge tree down over the fence (those repairs are tough). But it was just an open gate. Some kid must have intentionally opened that gate, because as Omar G. would say, "deer fences don't just untie themselves."

Well, it was way too dark for me to remedy my problem then. If you think it's bad trying to get an anxious idiot deer to head towards a small opening in a fence in the daytime, try it at night. So now, crazed and irritable, I'm waiting for enough dawn to go out there, find it, and get behind it and walk it towards freedom. Some day I'll draw you a picture to show you how stupid and futile this process is when you're doing it alone.

Anybody want to tell me their own deer story and make me feel better?

(Here is the rest of the story).)

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At 9:21 AM, Blogger Ash Karreau said...

One time I ate deer. There's an idea.

At 12:41 PM, Blogger Shirl said...

Might I suggest Chris Bohjalian's book: Before You Know Kindness? A very deer story.

At 3:04 PM, Anonymous Teka said...

My stepfather still talks about the time we came home to find two deer *sitting* in a big pile of deer repellant, twitching their ears and looking smug. He eventually set up an electric fence, which worked beautifully.

At 4:10 PM, Blogger Prisstopolis said...

When deer eat everything in the garden

It's a tragic case of


At 11:11 PM, Blogger kenju said...

Someone told me to hang up a bar of Ivory soap near my hydrangeas, which never grew taller than 12" due to the deer. I did, and now the deer don't touch the plants anymore.


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