Ok, little deer mama, we need to have a chat. I’ll be talking – I hope you’ll be listening. It’s about my garden. What used to be my garden, anyway.
You know I’m really sympathetic to your situation. I feed you guys in the winter when food is scarce. I look the other way when you eat our trees. I’ve even video-taped you eating the trees and pulling snow down on yourselves – very entertaining.
But it’s summer now. Lush greens are everywhere throughout the woods, from new evergreen branches to wildflowers and ferns. You are not wanting for food, even as you nurse your new little one. I really want you to leave my garden alone.
I love my flowers. We humans go for a very long winter without their beauty. We don’t get to see the precious bees come and go, or enjoy the hummingbirds as they get nectar from the potted flowers on our deck except during this brief time. Our summer season is very short. Please don’t make it shorter by eating my flowers.
You’ve pretty much laid waste to our hosta; yes, I know those are a favorite of yours. But the lilies…. really? Did you have to eat the lilies and leave me only bare sticks?
Well, life here in northern Michigan is really a give-and-take. We were hoping that you’d get the hint when we put up the fence to let you know a boundary of sorts – even though we knew a four-foot fence was nothing to you. We were hoping that having dogs in the yard frequently would make it unattractive to you. And we were grateful for the several years you respected that boundary and let us enjoy our yard and our flowers.
Last year, you hopped over and ate at our beautiful salad bar, but left when we shushed you back to the woods. This year, you’re more comfortable. Munching in broad daylight, not caring about the dog’s presence, and back again just minutes after being asked to leave. I’m sorry to do the “tough love” thing, but I need my flowers.
Starting today (one sad day late, I might add) the pretty flowers that remain have nasty-tasting spray on them. I tried to leave something for the birds, but I’m not sure if I managed that. You really need to respect our space, and if you won’t — because of course, you have survival at the forefront, not manners — then we just have to take further steps to insist on your manners. Such is life in the semi-populated woods. And don’t even think about the raspberries.
(c) 2018, J. Cools