Sunday, July 13, 2008

Like a Deer in the Yardlights

I don't eat wild game of any kind. I am not a hunter. My father used to hunt game for food. My husband was a hunter in his youth, to put meat on his family's dinner table. I don't eat wild game; just never could get past the childhood trauma of Bambi. There are lots of others out there like me. You know who you are.

Last night before closing up the
garden gate, I seriously considered lowering the shower curtains attached to the bunk bed frame in the garden boat just in case some creature decided to visit. "Naw", I told myself "you'll just have to get up at 6am to put the curtains back up so you don't fry your garden in the heat." I am NOT an early morning person. "Besides, it's too early in the life of your garden to be worried yet, no peas, no tomatoes to eat".

If you have seen the photo's of my garden boat, you know that since the heat arrived here in the Valley July 1st, my garden has exploded. It is lush and green and vibrant with life. Roses blooming, squash blossoms, startlingly orange Calendulas, Geraniums just getting ready to burst into brilliant reds, yellow tomato blossoms everywhere, and, oh look there, the peas are starting to bloom!!!

My best friend Bente is a Dane. She loves green peas in the pod fresh from the vine. Each time she visits, we walk out to the garden boat and she checks the progress of the pea plants. "If you come out here someday, and your peas are missing, don't look at me" she jokes. We oooh and aaaw over how well the garden is doing, dream longingly of the day we can walk out and pick tomatoes and peas. How can I tell her.....

Before breakfast today, I made my morning pilgrimage to the garden boat. On the way, I looked at all my plants-in-pots that I have placed along the inside of the fence. The cute little Island Mule Deer made such a feast of my potted plants outside the fence last year that I moved them all inside the yard. There is probably about 75 to 100 large black florist pots with various veggies, herbs and flowers. As I passed by my pretty and highly scented pink rose-in-a-pot, I blinked. Twice. All the leaves, flowers and flower buds but one were gone. Hmmmmm. Well, it was right up against the fence, and the openings in the fence are roughly 3" x 6". I suppose a cute little Island Mule Deer muzzle could reach through but....hmmmmm.

I moved on down the line. Several pots away another rose, this one a fragrant, creamy white with the faintest hint of pink at the edge, was missing it's 3 blossoms. HMMMMMM! Now I am afraid to look. Afraid to turn and face my garden boat. I had seen from the gate that things in the boat
looked normal, but up close? And personal? Oh, deer!

Did I mention that last year the cute little Island Mule Deer ate a lot of my plants-in-pots that were outside the fence? Or that one of their absolute favorite things was my Scarlet Runner Beans growing up the outside of that fence? And didn't I mention before how much they thoroughly enjoyed Richard's Soup Bean Mix Garden? How they munched it down to dust? Sigh...

So here is the GoodNews/BadNews part. The GoodNews is they didn't eat all the tomatoes. Nor all the flowers or herbs or onions. Missed the zucchini, the corn, the cucumber, the parsley, the chives, the marigolds...well you get the picture. The BadNews part: they picked those Scarlet Runner beans clean down to the stems. Nibbled on the tomatoes, LOVED THE PEAS, tried an onion or two, enjoyed the jalapeno peppers, munched up the soup mix beans and ate the geraniums in the bow of the boat down to almost nothing! Oh there are still about half the pea vines growing, in the middle of the boat where he - I know it was that cute little Island Buck Mule Deer who has been hanging around - couldn't quite reach...yet.

So after Richard gets home from work today, we are extending the fence upwards, then hanging old cd's from this extension as a deterrant (Can't you just picture the deer in the dark: "oh look, a Garth Brooks CD! I love Garth Brooks! And an old copy of Greeting Card Maker. Now you can make your mom a card.") Well, one of the gardening sites online swears that hanging cd's will keep them out of the yard.

Richard says that buck is going to look really nice in our freezer this fall. I don't think so. I don't eat wild game. I am not a hunter. Still, I have to be honest here...I think I am getting over my Bambi trauma. And how am I going to tell Bente about the peas?

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