Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Eating Machines

I shot all the following in the span of about 5 minutes, standing in my driveway.  Some of these whitetail deer are foraging across the street, at least two of them were busy working the landscape in my yard.  All of them were methodically working their way through the neighborhood, heads down, munching away.

Below is a shot of the sort of damage they leave in their wake.  Multiply this by several foraging trips through each day, and you get an idea why folks in this area are so keen on plants that are "deer resistant".   They may be picturesque, but these whitetail deer are ravenous all the time.  The plants they like to eat (and a few the young ones haven't figured out yet aren't so good) don't stand a chance.

They especially enjoy the flower stalks of coral yucca.  This plant has had several stems chomped down to stubs multiple times.  Fortunately it won't kill the plant, it just means we won't get to enjoy any blooms.

I try to co-exist peacefully with all the natives in our area.  When it comes to these voracious deer however, I feel no qualms heading out and noisily driving them off.  I realize they'll be back when I'm not out there to shoo them away but I feel obligated to at least try and keep their damage to a minimum.  


Kathleen Scott said...

Nice pix. Looks like you've got herds. And more in the future when the fawns mature...

I love wildlife but deer and neighborhoods aren't a good mix. When deer are hungry, they'll eat ANYTHING,even poisonous plants like oleander.

TexasDeb said...

Kat! Thank you. We do indeed have herds, plural. And as you point out, more increasingly hungry mouths constantly on the way.

I'd agree that deer and suburbs are something of a poor mix, but I can't say I see any short term solution, other than abruptly relocating our locals to....where, I wonder, would they be welcomed? They were here first, of course, but it is an ongoing sorrowful thing to see how many of the current herd have been injured by cars.