Wordless Wednesday–The Scourge of the Back Yard

Okay, I’ve finally gotten to talking about our little furry friends with the cloven hooves. That’s right–I don’t know about the rest of you but because my heavy clay soil stays so wet, it’s always readily apparent when the deer have tromped through. They leave deep hoof prints in the soil–or in some cases, since we are on a deer trail, they wear our thin soil right down to the bedrock.

So there’s never any mystery about what has done the damage and destruction in the garden–their hoof prints give them away.

As I was telling another gardener over my winter vacation, I am such a nature lover, that I am sympathetic to the plight of the deer. I don’t want to see starving deer anywhere and as development comes to my town there are fewer and fewer places for them to forage. What are they supposed to eat?

So I don’t go to enormous lengths to keep them out of my yard, knowing that would probably be futile anyway. I also don’t try to protect an acre of plantings–why doom myself to failure and disappointment?

Instead, there are a few choice things that I try to “make a stand” about. And the rest of the yard is pretty much fair game in all 4 seasons.

I realize not everyone can be so tolerant–or chooses to be. So for that, I have another handy dandy fact sheet for you. Just realize that the only foolproof method for keeping deer out is fencing.

I used a makeshift version of it myself this past summer when I was trying to protect some edibles. I strung up some “Deerstopper” deer tape around my vegetable garden. It worked quite nicely and I’ll use it again this coming summer–this time before the deer arrive to eat the tomato plants and the green beans.

(By the way, is it just me or does anyone else find it odd that we group our environmental department with our energy department in Connecticut? It seems those two interests are not always compatible).

And as for me, I’ll continue to let the does hide their babies in my little piece of the woods. It may be the only piece of woods that they have nearby anymore. Call me a sucker.

And don’t worry. While deer may be reputed to carry a lot of ticks, it is really the white footed mouse that is the host/problem for the tick that carries Lyme disease. But that is a whole other issue!

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