Thursday, April 7, 2011


If you live in the Northeast or many other parts of the country, you may like me, be battling white tailed deer.  Especially if you have a beautiful garden, they tend to like those best!  They take one or two bites every day, with the potential to defoliate an entire shrub, perennial, etc. over the course of a few days to weeks.  I've been battling the deer for years, and think I've gotten pretty good at it (see here).

So last summer we moved to a new house.  We live in a semi-rural area, with woods on two sides of us.  I know there are deer.  I've seen them on the mornings when I'm awake at some ridiculously earlier hour.  In the last few months or so I'm starting to find deer droppings in the back yard (which is completely fenced in to a height of 6 feet).  Here is the thing that most perplexes me though - there is not one shred of evidence that the deer have eaten a single thing.  Just to confirm, there are plenty of things they would like to eat in the backyard, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, etc. yet they haven't taken a single bite.  I have not taken any of my normal precautions (repellants, underplanting) because I haven't seen any evidence of need.  So why is it that they seem to just be "passing through" and not stopping to nibble - that is completely against their nature. Deer also tend to walk the same pattern every single day, but I'd bet they are only showing up here once in awhile, based on the infrequency of which I have to clean up after them.  My husband suggested that they somehow "know" that a serious gardener lives here, and might be waiting outside with a shotgun (just kidding bambi, I've been a vegetarian for 22 years, I don't intentionally kill animals).  I'm perplexed for the moment - although with all the edibles going in, I've already put in some calls to get some quotes to enhance our existing fence.  Do I take the plunge on a higher fence, as a precaution or wait it out?

UPDATE - Picked up deer droppings every day for the last 5, guess it's fence time!

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