Deer Me

 


I remember raking leaves with my husband (before he was my husband) back in November of 1995.  We had just started living together and were getting the lay of the land with each other.  We were raking the front yard, when on our quiet, dead end street, a deer appeared.  We were taken aback.  We were in awe.  There was no one else around at the time to share the news that there was a deer on the block.

Fast forward to November 2022, my father-in-law was driving along a busy highway, when he hit a deer.  Actually, that statement is not accurate.  My father-in-law was driving along a busy highway when a deer ran into his car.  We are not talking lonely back road lined with trees.  We are talking highway.  I don't know what happened to the deer, but my father-in-law was pretty shaken.  (Although unharmed.)  

Driving home from the shore today, I passed by at least half a dozen deer carcasses on the side of the road.  There are signs on the parkway, warning drivers that October and November are times when deer are most prevalent.  

We clearly have a deer problem.  

Forget being amazed that there was a deer on the block, today I am waiting to drive down the street as it is congested with pack of deer ambling.  Or even worse, being awoken at 5:30 in the morning on a weekend by your motion detector saying "motion detected by the patio door and checking the camera to see the photo above.

We have a BIG deer problem.

Most of the flowers we (I should say my son since he's the true farmer in the family) planted around the patio were "deer resistant."  The Hollyhock my son insisted I buy, was not.  Scarecrows were not good enough for the garden area my son made.  We thought we were good after putting down deer repellent.  We weren't.  My son eventually assembled a fenced in area where he was able to grow pumpkin plants.  (Three pumpkins were all he was able to get out of the numerous leafy plants.) The structure mostly kept the critters and the deer away from the area.  Once the pumpkins had been harvested, he took down the fencing, which has once again been trampled on by deer.

What once unique and beautiful, is now a nuance (and seems pretty mangy).  The deer are all over the block.  They are all over town and beyond.  I have been tolerant most times when they are on my front lawn.  I didn't mind them sitting and resting beneath the pine trees I have on the far end of the property.  But when they start creeping up and hang out on my patio, I have a PROBLEM.

This problem has turned me into crazy deer lady.  I try to keep an eye on my backyard.  If they are down by the fence, I'm fine with it.  As they creep their way up the hill, I'll move to the backdoor.  If they are too close, I come running out yelling.  Usually the dash away.  But when they don't go far enough, I will go after them (I can't say run because I'm not moving that fast down the hill), yelling and holding an umbrella.  That, in addition to opening and closing the umbrella rapidly, seems to freak them out.  Usually once is good enough, but sometimes they will be bold and head up my back hill again and I start all over again.

I AM the crazy deer lady.  I am crazy because when I see them encroaching on my territory, I go wild.  I yell.  I wave them off.  (Nine times out of ten they'll go in the direction I want them to if I gesture enough -- perhaps I should actually call myself "the deer whisperer.")  I do it over and over in the hopes of not having to do it again.  So I guess I am insane for as Einstein once said (or at least that's what the internet is telling me): “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Are the deer afraid of me or are they just mildly amused?  What do THEY think of me, the crazy deer lady?


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