Monday, January 05, 2009

Bilbo's All-You-Can-Eat Salad Bar

One of the nice things about living next to a stretch of thickly-wooded county park land is that we have privacy and relative peace and quiet on our little cul-de-sac. On the other hand, we also have the visitors who sneak up from the woods to snack on my garden and our landscaping.

Yesterday afternoon we had two deer in the front yard, brazenly chowing down on our plants right outside my study window. Agnes didn't want me to chase them away ("the deer have to eat, too"), so I shot them with the only thing available...my trusty Canon Digital Rebel XT. The pictures are a bit dark, as I was shooting through a closed window and screen, and I was only able to get pictures of one of the shameless diners, as the other stayed too close to the side of the house for me to get a good shooting angle.

This is the "Yeah, I'm eatin' your yard...sue me!" glare of the average Northern Virginia deer. It's also a good view of the winter coat the animals are all featuring this time of year...


This one, taken from the living room window, puts the snacker in the larger perspective of the front yard...

And if he (she, actually) could have eaten my car, she probably would have...

Both deer eventually wandered over to my neighbor's yard to poach his plants for a while, before retiring back to their hiding places in the woods.

So...

When I'm bitching and complaining about the state of my lawn plants in a few months, these are the guys I'm complaining about.

Venison is looking pretty good right about now.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.

Bilbo

17 comments:

Amanda said...

LOL! They may be a bit of a pain for you but to me, they look adorable!

I hope you don't mind me asking but is it normal to park cars perpendicular to the side of the road? Don't get me wrong...I like the idea because I can't parallel park but I always thought that you HAD to parallel park in residential areas. Maybe things are different in the US.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

Awww poor deer. Just remember you have taken over there land much like we did the Indians. They have no place to go.

Try to think of it this way...your lawn is helping to keep that cute little animal alive.

Mal's Team Gherkin said...

I've had a kangaroo and an emu trot past me here in town... not quite the same as a deer tho. it's a very surreal experience tho, isn't it?

Cyalayta
Mal :)

bandit said...

Our friend Jerry who was playing golf with Mike and Frank that day, is an avid hunter and outdoorsman. He provides us with some wonderful deer sausage each year. Mike will confirm that Jerry would come there and take care of your problem.

John said...

Agnes is right, they have to eat, too. So run them over to your neighbors yard! Deer overpopulation can be a hazard in residential areas. Not only do they damage lawns and landscaping, they become a hazard to drivers. Chase them back into the woods or poach them. Venison does indeed sound good!

anOCgirl said...

awww...she is so cute! please don't eat them!

Mike said...

Or friend Jerry that Bandit is talking about is a certified urban bow hunter. He has a license to hunt (at the request of a community) deer in an area like yours. He has to be able to get 15 feet off the ground (to minimize the shot angle) and be able to do a double lung shot to drop the deer immediately. They don't want Bambi running around wounded scaring the kids.

Twinkie said...

Isn't it interesting that deer come out of the woodwork when it's NOT hunting season? LOL But when it's deer season all of a sudden there's not one that can be found. Smart little creatures, aren't they?

Melissa B. said...

The thing that gets me is how nochalant all these "visitors" are about we humans. Did you hear that Montgomery County has authorized a deer hunt? Folks are putting up so many McMansions in my neck of the woods that they're completely ruining the deers' natural habitat, near Wolf Trap. It's sad, really.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Some super naure pics. Well taken.

GreenCanary said...

Hey! Captain Picard! I love you, man. Don't love deer, however. Sorry, Bilbo. I've heard that marigolds keep the deer away. You might want to try planting some of those. Or lace your existing plants with some antifreeze. I'm just sayin'.

Zipcode said...

awww they are so pretty - I love deer -- so cute............

fiona said...

Oh deerie me...

Mike said...

Canary reminded me of something. Cayenne pepper. It's supposed to keep critters away.

Leslie David said...

When I lived in Gaithersburg I drove by the fenced in property of NIST every day and in the morning and evening there would be a whole herd of them chowing down, looking at us on the other side of the fence, going I'm sure, nyaaah, nyaah, can't get me! Deer are nothing but big rats (but rats you can eat--I have nothing against a slab of Bambi on my plate). I'm all for hunting to cull the herd to make sure that the strongest, and these guys must be pretty smart if they know to come to your house for a snack, survive.

KKTSews said...

Amanda raised a good question---I was wondering about that parking job.
I live in an older suburb of Columbus Ohio, in an area built up in the 50's. We have deer, though not as bold as these. I've seen them in neighbor's yards and even on the grass next to the street like your last photo. But it's the darn rabbits that devour most of my garden.

Bilbo said...

Wow...who would have thought deer would generate more comments than breasts?

Amanda and Katherine - about the parking issue...because most of the families on our street have two or three cars and garages full of junk, we quickly run out of parking spaces. At the bottom of the cul-de-sac where we live, we've learned over the years that you can fit three cars parked nose-in in the same space occupied by one car parked parallel. Of course, the mailman complains that he can't pull up right in front of the mailbox, but he doesn't live here.

Canary and Mike - My father used to keep deer away from his plants by filling jars with urine and setting them among the plants. Whenever we visited, he'd make us fill jars before we could get fed. He eventually gave up, though, after the deer figured out what was going on.

Andrea, OCgirl, Melissa, and Zipcode - don't go away...I'll ship you all the deer you want so they can eat YOUR yard while you admire them!

Fiona - AARRGGHH!!

Mal - do the kangaroos and emus munch on your landscaping?

Leslie - call Bandit and see if we can work something out to stock your freezer...

Twinkie - hunting season is actually when we see them more often, because the hunters get them all stirred up. They're normally nocturnal.

John - they're a huge menace to drivers around here...since hunting is severely restricted, we have big herds of them running around, and not a day goes by without at least one accident.

Capt Picard - Thanks!