Wednesday, November 09, 2011

A Lot Of Deer This Year

A herd trotting past the deck a few days ago. I was standing at the door. One stopped when she heard the camera.

They come close to the deck. I'm fortunate they haven't availed themselves of my in-a-pot garden. Not too much:

A few does decimating a bush:

Here they are leaving; the matriarch giving me a dirty look. This herd was 8-deer strong. They pass several times a day.

This is why I can't have a garden. The only thing they won't eat is a ground cover called pachysandra. Everything else is on the plate. Trees, bushes, even chicks as I now know. They have an affinity for poison ivy. I watch them pick it out between the lillies. Then they eat the lillies.

We don't live in the woods. The neighbor's house is 30 feet away. But we live on a clearing for a gas pipeline and the deer use it as a trail. I once counted 17 deer in the side yard. You couldn't see the grass for all the brown fur. Mowing is an exercise in aerosolizing deer poop.

The deer around here aren't cute, they're scary. This video is a good example of what happens if you get too close, which I did a few times:

Beware The Rut

A couple days ago, before the sun came up, I heard weird gruffy-howls outside the bedroom window. Our motion-detector lights flicked on and I saw 5 large horned males stalking each other, charging each other, wailing, snorting, steaming. One buck's rack was so heavy I didn't know how he held it up. He stood in the center, slowly swinging his horny head from side to side. No way was I going to take the trash out that day!


Mary said...

I can imagine my cat doing this, but I'm not surprised the deer attacked a dog since she had a fawn nearby and the dog could easily kill the fawn whereas I doubt the cat could. We are in their territory just as much as they are in ours - it's a matter of perspective. We have more than our fair share of space in this world now that humans have reached 7 billion in number and are growing exponentially on our finite planet.

Bix said...

I felt so bad for that dog. It was a real cringe moment.

Mary said...

Bix, I agree, and I hope the dog was OK, but I don't blame the deer as it was just following instinct.

Dr. Mel said...

Yup, Mary & Bix, we've built up/used up so much of their territory that it's not surprising they now trespass on ours. They are wild animals, and I agree Bix that they can be dangerous. Still, it's their world too! That's quite remarkable, Bix, how many you have. Watch out for ticks!

Bix said...

Ticks! My god, if I go outside I have to check every single time. They're all over the place.

Bix said...

That 7 billion number is really astounding. I always think of bacteria in a petri dish overrunning the sides.

It is such a big, big topic. So many repercussions. Of course, I'm curious how and what we will all eat. How that impacts on the planet. How what we eat is increasingly tainted by environmental pollutants, which just seem to advance in number and methods of infiltration. Ugh. You could talk endlessly about this.

Shreela said...

OMGosh that was disturbing and upsetting! There's not that many deer where I live. Either it's too much city/neighborhood, or maybe it's too hot/humid, not sure. But my parents live a few hundred miles north, where it's a bit hotter and way less humid, so it's probably the city thing, since their place is surrounded by big forest.

There's stories of more wildlife than usual coming into neighborhoods this last year, they're thinking the unusual severe drought killed off a lot of their food.

DH said he's seen a deer attack a pet before and that attack was upsetting too,a no details, but he also said he's seen a buck attack a full grown black bear, which finally ran away bleeding! I think I'd be carrying a slingshot in my pocket, or at least keep one by my doors!

Shreela said...

In addition to a slingshot, here's a few things I'm considering for my larger pests problems (dog packs, raccoons):

Motion detector water squirter, linked to a comment about how he rigged up a timer so he wouldn't be squirted doing normal yard stuff.

Motion detector red-glowing "predator eyes". I enjoyed the "pizza delivery guys" endorsement LOL

Bix said...

The dogs! What in the world is going on with dogs? I used to be able to take a walk around the block. Now there are dogs everywhere, and not Dorothy's Toto either. I've learned not to trust invisible fences. And people walking bulls and rottweilers that are bigger and stronger than they are and snarl when I pass doesn't give we a happy feeling. Let alone the free-roamers!

Bix said...

Sprinkling scarecrows ... I love ingenuity!