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.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I have met the enemy...

...and she is adorable.
I am out shooing white tail deer away from my (apparently delicious) plants out front all the live long day. Though I check whenever I cannot sleep, I have never caught one in the act, but the evidence left behind is clear. Occasionally, grazing deer are coming up to our front porch in the middle of the night and gnawing away at the "decor" right by our front door.
I try not to stay angry with them.  I use "deer resistant" native plants and fence off what I cannot otherwise protect.
They are, after all, natives here, just like I am.  They were here before we moved in, and they'll have relatives here long after we move out (or are buried in the back yard which is the only way I said I'd ever leave).
There is one particular doe who has taken a liking to an area out front.  Year after year she leaves her nursing fawns here to wait for her return as she forages.  I try not to be softened by what I cannot resist interpreting as an act of trust.  I try.  But...
Look at that face.
Look at those gangly legs.

Even as I rue their ongoing determination to reduce some of my plants to ground level nubbins, I cannot help but admit to and even admire the appeal of their young ones.

Reminder:  Watch this blog and many others, perhaps even yours? for the inaugural Wildlife Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 hosted by Tina at My Gardener Says.    


Debra said...

They are beautiful. They can come to my property anytime. They visit because they are hungry. Less than 2% of the land in Travis county remains unaltered by humans. I kind of feel like humans have more than a fair share but that the situation is of course complicated. Can we feed them the way we do birds or would that just cause the population to grow?

Linda/patchwork said...

Ah, yes.....adorable PESTS!

We have a couple of does, who hang out around our house, year round.

Makes for a challenging gardening experience.

TexasDeb said...

Debra: The babies are adorable, the adults? Often they suffer from living in proximity to people (and their dogs...and cars...). Feeding them (the way we do birds) bumps the population up and in ways that aren't necessarily sustainable. Deer eat a LOT more than birds do. And they carry ticks that spread Lyme Disease. So. No easy solutions in sight.

TexasDeb said...

Linda: It is challenging in every sense of the word. I'm doing what I can to plant deer resistant natives but you and I both know a deer will eat whatever it wants, lists be damned, plus the little ones often pull plants out of the ground roots and all just to spit them back out. So. Yeah. Trying to accentuate the positives while understanding much of what I plant is going into a deer gut sooner or later.

Debra said...

I think the permaculture people might think of deer as energy entering the system -- a kind of meat delivery system. People who are carnivores could hunt and eat them I suppose. Not for me. I can't even eat domesticated animals. It would be nice to find a win win solution to this problem though. So many people complain about deer for being destructive. It interests me that people go out of their way to support bird wildlife but mammals (squirrels, deer, coyotes, etc) are almost always considered pests. It has to be a cultural thing.

TexasDeb said...

Debra: It is at least partly cultural but it is also the nature of the support offered (or in the some cases, taken). The mammals eat more and can pose a threat to domesticated animals. In more of a woodland or multi-acred setting I could manage that balance but in more crowded urban settings it is simply harder to tolerate.

Debra said...

Seriously, I can appreciate a person's worry about her pet or child coming to harm. But there is something about people siding with dinosaurs/birds over fellow mammals that just strikes me as fascinating. I do it myself. After feeding the cat my next morning priority is filling the bird feeder. I love their presence and I am pleased that they have trained me so well but it makes me wonder ... haha