Wednesday, Dec. 01, 2010
Dear Diary:

Sometimes even I don't understand myself.

This summer we were plagued with two incredibly cheeky does. I mean, we've had deer problems before but these two ratcheted things up exponentially. By the end of the summer they had eaten all the beloved hostas below our home down to nubs.

They'd taken a major run at the hostas behind the big pond, eaten two hydrangeas to the ground, and pretty much obliterated my forsythia. Oh, how I will miss that fountain of yellow forsythia goodness next spring.

I've been trying to grow high bush cranberries so I can make my own wild cranberry sauce, but they took care of that dream, too.

It got to the point that almost every night when he came home from work I'd hear the meep meep meep of the spousal unit's car horn as he tried to scare them from some place in our yard. They lost all fear of humans. We even tried small fireworks to scare them off. Nothing worked.

There are no words for my fury at them. I'd run out and chase them out of the yard. They'd stand in the woods and literally wait for me to leave, and then stroll back into the yard to resume eating. Arrrrrggggghhhhhhhh.

It's rare to see two deer constantly together. Because they were on the small side and always together, the spousal unit figured they were twins, maybe from last year. We named them Frick and Frack because, hey, know your enemies and all that.

This spring the land behind us was bought by the Nature Conservancy. They're buying up any undeveloped land in this valley because they want to create a wildlife corridor between southern Quebec and northern Vermont. This relatively undeveloped border valley is perfect for that.

Normally hunting isn't allowed on Nature Conservancy land, but the land was owned previously by loggers and they sold a hunting lease to a group. Early this fall the group appeared with several 50 pound bags of carrots to set up a deer lure. There's a logging road and landing that ends about 150 feet behind our house, so we got a ring side seat.

Fast forward to hunting season. A few weeks ago I heard two shots one afternoon, bang bang quickly together. Normally when you hear two shots like that it means that a hunter has missed and is shooting wildly, so I figured hey, a deer got away.

We almost always saw Frick and Frack in our yard around supper time. That day I didn't see them.

The next day the hunters came back with a short of stretcher dealie, headed off into the woods, and came back about 20 minutes later with a small doe. Back to the woods they went again, and again came back with another small doe.

We haven't seen Frick and Frack since. Putting two and two together, I think the hunters got my nemesis.

You would think I would be overjoyed by this. Seriously. These two deer drove me mental this summer. And I know that the hunt is a good thing, that it's a humane way to keep deer numbers manageable so they don't starve during harsh winters. I know that.

So why did I feel so freakin' sad to see those two small bodies carted out of the woods? Even I don't understand that.

This week we got our first dusting of snow and saw some truly humungous deer tracks out behind my long perennial border. The spousal unit says this was probably a very wily old buck�he says they don't get that big if they're not really smart.

I could see the deer tried to work the cage around my azaleas and that he walked over to my wild cranberries to graze them down even further than Frick and Frack did. I should be furious, but instead I'm delighted that he's lived another season. I glance out my kitchen windows, hoping to catch a glimpse of him.

Yep, sometimes even I don't understand myself. No wonder the spousal unit has such a hard time, eh?


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