Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Maybe I shouldn't complain. It's nice to know that we live in the sort of place that receives visits from relatively large wild animals. The greenway and lack of fences allow all the critters, mostly cats, to pass through our yard. We enjoy watching them make their way.

The other day we spotted a deer drinking out of a big bucket full of rainwater right on the back patio. Sure, when we pointed it out to Calder he was the most frightened I've ever seen him. Poor guy. But there will come a time when seeing the larger creatures that he's, until now, only seen in books, will be a cause for celebration rather than panic.

This deer, we believe, has been making repeat visits to our address in the past couple days; probably in the very early morning. I purchased a 6-pack of rainbow chard the other day and had it out on the patio. The next morning, most of the leaves had been eaten away. Grrr.

There was enough left of each plant to keep it alive, so they went into the ground yesterday. I covered each plant with an orange juice carton assuming out-of-site-out-of-mind. No. We woke this morning to find the cartons tossed aside and 3 of the plants actually missing. (See the root ball and hole where that plant used to be?) The other 3 are not looking good. There's maybe one leaf left on each surrounded by a crown of munched-off stems.

The beast also snacked on the succulents, which I may have mentioned before, are the actual plants (or the offspring) of the bouquet I carried when Jeff and I were married. No one is allowed to eat these! We struggle enough to keep them alive through the winter, rolling their planter in and out of the garage on a skateboard so they can get some sun.

We don't want a fence. At least not one that could prevent a dear from entering our yard. And as the season progresses and more food becomes available in the more wild spaces, perhaps our grazer will leave our things alone. But, I was so excited about the rainbow chard! I'm going to have to try again. Perhaps I can construct some cute deer-proofing for the next crop. 'Keep you posted.

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