Wednesday, June 12, 2019

No, Not A Petting Zoo

When I returned home from the dentist, Becky was in the shade garden obviously upset about something.  She led me into the garden to show me the damage that had been done to many of our treasured plants.  While we were observing the destruction this yearling walked among the plants feeding on them as he walked.  Angry shouts from us had absolutely no effect on this young buck.  My close approaches while speaking loudly and firmly only moved him slightly.  In this photo his front feet are perilously close to a Giant White Trillium.

Finally the deer moved away from the planted area and exited at the chopped leaf holding area.  Encouragement for him to leave the area continued.  He moved away but returned several times.  He seemed to want Becky to reach out and scratch his head.  This is his first year with horns and the forces of manhood can be both confusing and overwhelming.  Eventually Bucky moved slowly into the nearby corn field.

This young Purple Flowering Raspberry plant has only been partially eaten.  The first picture shows a huge wire cage just behind the deer.  It was placed in response to a previous attack by an unknown deer.  Beautiful buds are just days away from opening but a wire cage in what is supposed to be a wildflower garden is a contradiction to the look we are trying to create.

This is all that remains of our impressive Bloodroot transplants.  Developing seed pods have captured our attention for weeks.  We were expecting to see ants disperse these seeds while eating the coating covering each seed.  With the leaves gone it is questionable if these seeds will reach maturity.  More importantly, we do not know if the rootstock received enough nutrition to fuel next year's reappearance of these plants.  A wire cage can be fashioned to cover these much desired plants but that would be like locking the barn door after the horse has been stolen.

We will wait for months to see the total impact of both this deer's sharp hooves and appetite for green plant leaves.  Our hopes were sky high for the return of our carefully placed native plants.  One small piece of good news is the small protective cage fashioned to protect our Fringed Polygalas after Becky read the extensive list of critters that feed on its evergreen leaves.

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