Sunday, April 1, 2012

Vegetarian Beasts!

 As I wheeled my bike onto the rack and pushed the gate open last Tuesday night, I heard some heavy thumping in the dark garden.
 I knew right away, somehow, what the stomping sounds were, and instead of being nervous, I was instantly annoyed. I did some stomping of my own and scared one young deer into the open, but he  leaped quickly back into the wooded part of the yard.

I went in complaining bitterly to Paul, who slipped on his boots to take up the chase. When he came back in after (temporarily, we're sure) clearing the yard and checking that all the gates were closed, he reported that there had been two deer. And the next morning, it was pretty clear that they were hungry deer, with a particular appetite for all the best bulbs. No interest at all in the newly sprouting dandelions.

And for some reason, they don't (for the moment, at least) seem to like scylla, so those bright blue sparks are still intact.

And yes, it's almost time to move that mulch out of the way, but I think there's still a chance we could have frost, so I'm leaving the blanket in place just a bit longer, especially since I read Marjorie Harris today suggesting we leave that layer of leaves for worms to pull into the earth over the next few weeks, adding nutrition and humus.

That's not to say there hasn't been some cleaning up going in out there, though.

Indeed, it's very handy having a semi-retired husband around the house and yard. Coming up, a report on his pruning progress AND another yummy recipe from his repertoire. . . Plus I've got some pictures for a post on the Illustrated Journal course we took together, but that may not happen until next weekend . . . no worries, lots to show & tell you in the meantime. . . How was your weekend?

18 comments:

  1. The deer have munched greedily on our tulips.
    I look forward to the journal class post, being creative is such a tonic to the soul.

    Applause for Pater and his yard work :-)

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    1. Lesley, do you find they leave the daffodils alone, generally, in preference for tulips? Scylla and tulips are top of their menu list, here!

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  2. Drat those deer...but glad to see some blooms remain for you to enjoy.

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    1. Yes, they took some pity and left us a flower or two. . . ;-)

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  3. I graded one entire stack of papers today and have another to go. This week is the big editorial meeting for the annual literary magazine, which I'm the faculty advisor for. And students in my learning community have just turned in their scenes for this year's collaborative novel. I'm beginning to feel swamped.

    Your deer story reminded me of a time when my girls were young and we lived in rural western Montana. I went out to our garden one day to discover SEVERAL free range cows chomped on bits from our garden. I took out after them with my mop, screaming angrily. They blinked, but did. not. move!

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    1. No wonder you feel swamped! That's a lot of work. I can imagine how much goes into the editorial work.
      I LOVE your cow story -- Unstoppable force and immovable objects!

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  4. Hi Mater, thanks for passing on the tip about the worms - a good excuse to leave the garden for another week! It was actually a bit too cold to be out there this weekend, so we relaxed indoors. Our boys did their first paid day's work today - starting a summer job, weekends for now, of lawn aeration leading to driveway sealing in the summer. They are muddy and exhausted - and have a bunch of cash in hand, so are happy. Quite a milestone for them!

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    1. And they're working together? That's so great. Two of my nephews worked together a few summers on a landscaping business that one of them has now built up into a going and growing concern. You must feel proud!

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  5. One day I bumped into Jeff Wall at the hardware store and he was buying some metal mesh fencing to roll on his lawn to prevent the raccoons from digging up goodies in his yard. Would that work for you or maybe it's not so serious... Just a thought. A conceptual approach worthy of a photo perhaps...

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    1. You're sure he wasn't using it for an interesting photo? :-)
      I did think about building some screens, especially for the bulbs outside the fenced area -- trouble is they're not so attractive. . . .I think that would be a brilliant way of stopping the raccoons from digging for grubs in the lawn, though. My mom used to be tormented by that problem.

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  6. We fenced about 1.5 acres a few years ago, and if we keep the fence on the driveway closed we have a garden...otherwise we have stubble!
    I am reading Marjorie Harris' Gardening Tips (1994), a page or two a night before bed. Lots of good reminders there.

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    1. We don't have anywhere near that size property to worry about! We have the yard fenced, but only to about 4 feet -- used to be okay when we had our Golden Retriever, enough deterrent to discourage them from leaping. If this keeps up, though, we're going to have to go higher. At the front, they come onto the property from the beach, so that part we have to surrender (can't really fence from the high-water mark!)

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  7. I mowed my lawn. No one came out and shooed me away:).

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    1. That's a perfect weekend activity -- work that somehow can feel recreational (not always, but there's something pleasurable about it, no?)
      We should be able to train the deer to trim ours. . .

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  8. When I saw the title of your post, I thought, "Deer!" Pesky beasts, indeed.

    I made Pater's Brussels Sprouts with cider vinegar again this week. I'm the only one who eats them, and I enjoy them thoroughly with salad and cold chicken for my lunches. Thanks again for the recipe.

    I'm eager to hear about the Illustrated Journal class, too.

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    1. They're so beautiful, but really, such pests!
      Glad to hear you're enjoying those Brussels Sprouts -- he'll be pleased to know that -- they really spark up a salad, don't they!

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  9. Oh, the deer! A perpetual problem in my first-ring suburb. I try not to invest money in deer food (some plants) instead try to install more things the deer seem to leave alone. They destroyed our tulips, but left the daffs. We don't have fence and probably won't. So we deal with them.

    The salad looks so yummy and I needed a boost of inspiration, Thanks!

    StacyfrPgh

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    1. I'm really noticing that this year -- the way they avoid the daffs in favour of the tulips. And, of course, I'm much fonder of tulips . . . Still, you're right that it's not worth getting overly upset about it. Just hope they let me have some of my roses . . .

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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