I do not trust deer. They were busy last December in my yard when I wrote this article, but we haven't seen them for weeks. I guess they ate everything, moved on and are waiting for the tender shoots of my hydrangeas to sprout again. I'll know they are back when I find those tender shoots nibbled away.
The Revenge of Bambi: Yes, deer are vengeful creatures
Our quiet little street is not far from a wilderness area. The deer used to live there, but it seems that they have come to prefer the menu in our neighborhood. We on the street have a long list of strategies for peaceful coexistence with the deer. Top of the list are “deer resistant “ plants. We have come to understand this to mean something they just haven’t yet developed a taste for and next season they will. This year they are eating ivy and a hedge they’ve never touched before. One other strategy is deer repellant, store bought and home made. The key is to use ones so unpleasant that you don’t even want to go in the yard because the smell is so bad. These eventually wash off, and I think the deer have gotten used to the one I made with hot peppers and clove oil.
The other strategy is a barrier. Some people have fences, others have deer netting and I have a set of garden chairs and a solid hedge. This had been working well to keep the deer out of the backyard. That is until the deer got really ticked off at me. I believed that’s what happened this week. Two days in a row I found them in the front yard eating the last few apples the squirrels had dropped for them. In each case I turned the sprinkler on them and they bounded off -- only to stand in the middle of the street and look back at me in what could only be interpreted as disdain.
So this morning when I went to put things in my compost bin I checked and my barrier of garden chairs and hedge was still in place. That barrier protected the roses I had just propagated and the hydrangeas that were fading and falling asleep for the winter.
Then as I went back into the house I saw that the little rose bloom I had been waiting for was gone. And as I looked around I saw many other plants had been given crew cuts. I’m convinced that the deer were determined to get past my barrier to get back at me for turning the sprinkler on them and denying them the apples.
I have other reasons to believe that deer are vengeful. I have been their target before. Last year they took their revenge by coming up on my porch, eating my tomato plants and leaving a pile of droppings. I’m certain they wanted me to know it was them and not the squirrels. I don’t recall the transgression that warranted that retaliation.
Today in my own act of vengeance I sprayed everything with the smelliest concoction I could find and I added reinforcements to my barrier. Tomorrow I will be on the lookout and hope they don’t recognize my car, because the deer in our neighborhood contain a criminal element. Last week my neighbor was stopped at the corner and the buck came up and rammed his car. There are now punctures in the door of his Toyota. What’s worse, my neighbor couldn’t drive off. He had to stop and help a lady who had been so startled by the attack she fell into the hedge!
I guess I should be happy that I only lost the tender tops of a few plants, but the battle is not over -- for them or for me.