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Deer eat free

July 25th, 2003 · 2 Comments

That’s the sign I’m thinking of posting in our garden: “Deer eat free”. Of course, deer don’t need to read a painted sign in order to take an invitation. They’ve already helped themselves. In the mornings abrupt bare branches speak of midnight snacking. Tender stems stand bare, leaves and buds nibbled away.

Although annoyed with the destructive effect of deer dining, how can I begrudge them a meal or two? After all, this was their home first. A day or two after we had bought the lot, we stopped by, surprised to see the machines already clearing the land. How awful to hear the sounds of forest falling, the crushing and crunching , to see the tearing and stripping, knowing we had condoned – financed! – such violence. Even after years of living in this new development, growing accustomed to the sights and sounds of construction, I still feel sad and slightly sick when another section of forest falls. My guilt is greater than my aggravation.

During the first year we lived in our new house, we’d often see the deer grazing near our backyard or spy families with fawns running past our dining room windows. My neighbor has seen deer again this year, early in the mornings but I have not seen any since last summer.

So far this summer they have sampled:
sunflower leaves (from the sole seed spared by the birds!)
tomato blossoms and leaves (from Czechoslovakian tomatoes, nonetheless!)
calendula flowers (didn’t know that they liked those)
dahlia leaves (didn’t know they wanted that either)
pumpkin leaves (I think it is a pumpkin, forgotten what I planted, actually)
strawberry leaves and fruit (the bare stems stick out strangely in the patch)
carrot tops (a couple)

Sounds like a gourmet summer salad to me!

If the deer see our garden as a cafe,
then what can I say
Bon Appetit mon ami, Bambi!

Tags: gardening · island

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Katherine // Jul 26, 2003 at 12:38 pm

    Your garden does indeed sound delicious! Not to mention how wonderful it is that you live somewhere far enough from the urban jungle that deer might come near. I hope that will be true for me someday too. My brother just moved to the country and noted how much less light pollution there is – walking the dog offers a great view of the stars at night, including a shooting one the first night they moved in. God’s glory in sight.

  • 2 Patricia A. Taylor // Jul 28, 2003 at 12:57 pm

    You are indeed a poet, Julie! Made me laugh again! How delicious for me to feast on your words, as the deer munch quietly in the dark on your garden offerings! Love you so much!