2000-04-18
Dear Diary:

Well, there's no easy way to say this, so I'm just going to spit it out.

The whole "deer are lovable big-eyed Bambi-like creatures" thingie is a lie. Deer are actually gluttonous lowlifes with an attitude problem. I know, because I live among them.

One of my enemies looking cute and harmless.  NOT. When we first built our log cabin we had this teensy little clearing in the woods completely unlandscaped. It was kind of neat to walk out my door and see the deer munching on the weeds growing in among the piles of debris the bulldozer had left.

The view outside my front door.  Yeah, I know, I'm blessed. But now that same view, after more years of backbreaking work than I want to think about, looks like this.

I look out my door and I see a tapestry of colour and texture woven out of a complex mix of biennial, perennial and annual plants.

The deer see Marn's All U Can Eat Exotic Plant Buffet.

I started out with the folk remedies. The old timers told me to scatter small bags of human hair clippings in my flower beds, that would keep the deer away. So I went to the local hairdresser, and begged hair.

(Did you know people look at you strangely when you ask for stuff like this? You wouldn't *believe* the explaining involved. It's like they think you're planning a massive voodoo attack on the local village. Sheesh.)

So I endure that humiliation and what's the deers' attitude towards the hair? Deer #1 to his attractive companion: "Yo, babe, push aside that bag of hair and try these hemerocallis. They rawk." Fine.

Use Irish Spring soap, I was told. Deer hate highly scented soap. So I scattered hunks of that in my beds. Deer #1 to his attractive companion: "Yo, babe, push aside the soap, and try the hostas. They rawk." Fine.

So then I moved up to the chemical deer repellants. Yes, I tried them all. No, not one of them worked.

I'd walk my garden after supper admiring the plants, and the following morning would see the same plants eaten to the ground, telltale hoof marks in the soft soil at their base.

The most humiliating thing of all was when I would see them in my yard. I'd rocket out the door waving my arms and yelling, and for my first few charges that would work.

Then the deer would figure out I wasn't going to actually hurt them, so they'd stay put until the last possible second and then bound into the woods.

I would turn back towards the house, look over my shoulder, and the lowlifes would be already edging back towards my flower beds. So I'd charge them again and they would stare at me with this, "lady get over it, you're being, like, totally mental" look. Fine.

I was getting close to the point of grassing everything over when I had my epiphany, when I saw the light, when I found The One True Path.

I owe it all to Hollywood.

I was watching that movie about the naturalist who lived with wolves ... remember "Never Cry Wolf"? Well, anyhow, the wolves kept breaking into his camp and eating his food until he had the really cool idea of marking his territory like the wolves do.

So there's this guy drinking endless cups of liquid and peeing a circle around his camp. And it worked. That's when I had my ka-CHING moment. I mean, I figured that if human pee could keep wolves out of food, heck it would work against deer, wouldn't it?

Now being a woman and all, it's a bit harder for me to mark my territory than it is for a guy. They come with these built in watering wands, eh. Heck, they can actually *write* their names if they want to be *really* specific about this marking business, I've seen it done.

My husband gets very nervous when I look at him a certain way. I guess I was looking at him that way when I shoved an empty two litre Coke bottle in his hand and told him to fill it as fast as he could.

He was relieved I wasn't going to make him pee around my acres of flower beds, of course. But he was skeptical that the marking idea would work and made me *swear* that I would never tell anyone about my latest crazy scheme.

Oh dear, have I just broken my promise? Oh well, too late now.

Long story short it worked. I've refined it over the years, found that you don't need to soak things, a gentle sprinkle along the edge of a bed is just fine. People can't smell it at all, but it's enough for the deer.

You've gotta go back and do it after each rain, water washes the scent away. The squirt top from your dish soap container will fit on a big two litre pop bottle, lets you aim and control lots better than just tipping and pouring a big bottle.

Last fall we had an early snow storm and I had a bottle with a few inches of what we affectionately call "No Deer" left in the woodshed. I had to get rid of it some how so ... I wrote my name in the snow in big, bright yellow letters.

No big deal for a guy, I know, but I've always wanted to do that.

--Marn

Old Drivel - New Drivel


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Want to delve into my sordid past?
She's mellllllllllllllting - Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 - Back off, Buble - Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 - Dispersed - Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 - Nothing comes for free - Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 - None of her business - Friday, Nov. 04, 2011 -


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2000, 2001, 2002 Marn. This is me, dagnabbit. You be you.