Sunday, June 26, 2016

Deer Everywhere

June has seen at best a single rainstorm that gave us less than one tenth of an inch of rainfall.  Weather systems carrying moisture pass either north or south of us.  Our plants are nearly surviving on the dew that forms each night.  A chosen few get a sprinkling can of well water during the early hours of the day.   Hours are spent each day carrying water to the plants.  I have become such a regular part of this scene that a bird recently landed atop my hat like I was a fountain in a park!  That was a first for me.

This coral bells is directly in front of me in the first photo.  The deer seldom come inside of the square but the field grasses are crunchy dry.  Moist plants that received water from the sprinkling can appear to now be at risk.  More wire cages might be an answer but one of my larger rectangular cages was flipped on its back by some animal.  That has never happened here before.

This white phlox is to my right in the first photo.  Cut stem ends show that a deer trimmed this plant to the height of the cage.  Phlox are at risk early in the year but the foragers have moved on to other food sources by now in a normal year.  Taller cages are unsightly but may become necessary.

We call this plant Inga's mallow in memory of the gardener that first gave us this plant.  It self seeds and so far it faithfully reappears each year.  The rusty old cylindrical wire cage was placed early since the deer love to eat this plant.  The plant is far too beautiful to risk losing so protection is a must.

The potatoes receive daily attention.  Two five gallon cans and both sprinkling cans are filled with water and trucked to the garden near the woods.  Hand weeding and hilling revealed dampness just under the surface of the soil.  This was a welcome sight as I was unsure that my meager efforts were supplying adequate moisture.  Yesterday I was working on hands and knees at the far end of these plants.  I looked up to see twin fawns standing just outside of the fenced area.  Their first reaction was to freeze motionless.  This gave me a good long look at them.  Then mother called her offspring and they bounded into the tall growth at wood's edge.  Despite the deer damage recently inflicted onto my plants, seeing two fawns up close was a real thrill.

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