Dear deer: You’re welcome, but…

Dear deer,

Welcome to the wet area in the back of our property! We’ve caught glimpses of you and your faun, and the sight has filled us with wonder at your wild beauty.

At the same time, we are dedicated vegetable gardeners, and as our crops ripen, we respectfully request that you observe our boundaries.

IMG_20170705_080200841We have enjoyed looking for evidence of your visits to our back yard. We’ve seen the jewel weed you’ve decapitated and the four-foot-high leaves of wild grapes that you’ve chomped on. We’ve seen your hoof marks on the wood chips that define the paths through our back-yard wilderness. (We took a photo of the jewel weed to show our friends.)

We have marveled that you are so adaptive that you have found a livable habitat less than a mile from the center of Amherst.

To help you know where the boundaries are, we’ve installed some signals that you can discern with your eyes, nose and ears. We’ve hung up bright, shiny objects (compact discs) at the back of our garden. We’ve placed some bags of human hair and scented soap nearby. And we have repaired some old wind chimes to give you audio cues.

IMG_20170705_080632704We do have a three-foot-high fence around our garden, and another three feet of string trellis, but we’ve heard that you’re quite capable of jumping over it. Please remember that you are welcome to browse on any of the vegetation growing outside the fence, but we’d like to reserve our veggies for ourselves and our friends. Thanks.

We like having wildlife around. We seem to be in flyover country for many bird species, and there’s been a baby bunny boom, bolstered by the buffet of red clover and other plants in our yard. We have seen foxes. Except for woodchucks, who have not dared come near our yard this year (with good reason!), we get along well with our fellow creatures.

We are happy to share the bounty of our land with you. There’s enough for everyone, but we don’t want to give away the vegetables we like to eat and work so hard to grow. So please, when you see those shiny objects, smell that hair and soap, and hear those chimes, know your limits.

And the next time we meet face to face, please don’t run away. We’d love to take a picture of you.


Nick and Betsy

Here is an index of 170 past posts on this blog, in categories such as frugality, simple living, gardening, living without and climate change. You can also hover on “Index” above to read all the posts in a particular category.





One thought on “Dear deer: You’re welcome, but…

  1. A wonderful approach! Let us know if it works.
    (I had a similar agreement with the woodchuck that lived under my porch a few years ago — worked like a charm. Unfortunately, by the fourth generation, the agreement lapsed, and a youngster ate my tomatoes. Sigh)

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