I’ve promised this one for awhile. My husband gets lots and lots of kudos for this one.
As you may recall, we redid our landscaping recently. As the plants got used to their new homes, they started to bloom, and they looked lovely. One of my favorites is always my daylillies.
One day, I went out to admire my flowers and noticed that they were missing big chunks. This is not the first time this has happened to me. In fact, the lovely Dutch people who owned our house before us had planted the most gorgeous Dutch tulips that I really enjoy seeing blossom.
Last spring, they bloomed. I really enjoyed admiring them. One morning when I came out of the house, I discovered that they were gone. In fact, it looked as though someone had taken a golf club and used them for tee practice. I was mildly upset. This was also during the time when neighboring kids were ding dong ditching us (gotta love being a teacher living in the district where you teach) late at night and waking up the wee ones.
I was frustrated enough, in fact, to file a complaint with the local police department about the dual golf club and ding dong ditching nuisances. They completely understood and had gotten other ding dong ditch complaints from our neighborhood and promised to increase patrols. (Shortly thereafter, an elderly neighbor on the other side of the neighborhood collared them and held them until the police arrived where their parents had to pick them up. Not so many problems with ding dong ditching after that, oddly.)
The next day, I was talking to my next door neighbor about something, and the neighbor mentioned how bad the deer were this year. In fact, the deer had eaten clean down to the roots of some plants. How they particularly enjoyed tulips. I mumbled some response and later slunk home.
Little did I know that I was simply providing a buffet for the deer that live in the conservancy behind my house.
When we redid our landscaping this year, I was smart (or so I thought). I specifically requested plants that deer didn’t like to eat. After the guy finished laughing at me, he was able to recommend plants that were native to the area (thus needing little to no watering after establishing themselves) and also not the first choice of deer as they peruse their buffet.
Of course, the day after my daylillies bloomed, I came outside to see an image similar to this:
Yeah. That’s right. Deer in MY garden eating MY daylilies (and roses) again. Over the next few days, they got so bold as to actually leave footprints behind so I could see what their favorites were and follow the path as they perused and grazed the lucious buffet I had put out specifically for them, apparently.
As my ire grew, my husband grew afraid. Very afraid.
Smart man that he is, he began searching the Internet for appropriate deer abatement. We discovered many deer myths and fallacies, many of which were entertaining and, alternately, digusting. There was no way I was hanging coyote urine in my back yard.
Eventually, my husband discovered a potential solution.
It looks ugly, doesn’t it? And what on earth could it be? Why, it’s a scarecrow of course! It isn’t your typical scarecrow, granted. This one is effective.
It’s a motion sensitive sprinkler. You set the timer and something gets within 35 feet of its 105 degree range, and it gets sprayed. Hard. It wasn’t the cheapest solution, but it had pretty good reviews online, so we ordered it.
As soon as it arrived, we installed it in the back. It makes my night as I’m sitting in the family room and I hear the familiar PFFFSSSST! that means something came just a little bit too close to my precious flowers.
My dreams have changed. I no longer dream about this:
Instead, my dreams focus more on this:
Except that, really, the Scarecrow doesn’t let the deer get nearly that close. And my husband tells me that I’m sometimes smiling in my sleep.
And not to end this on a bummer, but if you have a moment, pray for my friend D — her father passed away this morning after a long illness and months going in and out of the hospital. While he is at peace, it’s never easy to lose someone you love, and she’s taking this particularly hard.