Sunday, January 10, 2010

Deer Night

I love it that we never know what will happen when we walk out our front door.  This non-homogenized aspect of life appeals to me, in spite of occasional inconvenience.

Our yard is a certified wildlife habitat.  Even so, Denny and I have a checkered relationship with the local deer population.  We run out clapping and yelling to scare them away whenever we see them close to the house.  Deer are beautiful animals.  But I don't want deer in my yard pulling up my plants and scaring away the birds. 

I understand the other side.  Our plot was deer turf first.  And our next-door neighbors host a professional-grade corn feeder with a rattling jingle like a church-bell calling the faithful to mass.  To a deer our place is just the prelude to dessert.

We might be losing the battle.  The same two does show up every day.  Teach their fawns to drink from our bird-baths, nap in the seasonal tall grasses.  In a few years there will be a herd milling around the front porch.

The other night, late-ish, Denny drove out to the community mailboxes.  Down the street, a left and a left and a right and a turn, several miles of quiet, unlit, two-lane road.  Time to see the moon and think thoughts. 

When he walked back into my computer room, he looked dazed.  "A deer hit me."

It usually happens the other way 'round, since cars go quite a bit faster than a deer runs. But I didn't say that out loud.  Denny wouldn't have felt better for hearing it.

After the are-you-all-rights and how-did-it-happens, we trooped out to the garage to look at the car.  Denny was right about the collision; it was obvious from the angle of the damage.  You'd be surprised at how much a deer springing out of the black night can do to a car puttering along at 25 miles an hour.  I'm glad Denny's seat belt was fastened and he wasn't hurt.  Which is surely not true of the deer, judging from the wrinkles, breakage, bendings and scrapings on our car.

The next  morning, as I pulled out of the garage on the way to the repair shop, I was a little concerned I'd find the deer laid out on the driveway, come home to die and succeeding.

Thankfully not.

We're driving a rental car now, until ours graduates from finishing school.  I'm hoping it comes out better than the one parked out front of the repair shop.


  1. We, too, fear hitting or being hit by deer on our roads. And it happens all the time.
    I'm glad Denny is okay.

  2. I'll third that sentiment - happy Denny is fine. Having watched as deer inflict all sorts of damage on local cars and lawns I'm still glad you didn't spot a dead or dying deer the next day. I don't want the deer around our place dead, I just wish they'd quit eating the flowers off my favorite plants out front.

    I remind myself they were here first. I tell myself our yard (also habitat certified) is for their benefit as well as for butterflies, birds, etc. And, I still run them off if I catch them in the foraging act out front......

  3. That's too bad--for you guys, your car, and the deer. They do run out and hit cars, though I'm sure from their perspective they think they can make it across the road in time. We were almost hit by one once on the way home from Fredericksburg.

  4. Glad Denny is ok.
    My daughter-in-law hit one in her neighborhood last year. Not such a good deal for that deer. She ran right out in front of them...too late to stop. Luckily, no one in the car was hurt. But, the car was a mess.
    We have so many deer in our neighborhood. We like to watch them, but it's frustrating trying to garden around them.

  5. I'm glad you stopped by for a visit! It's nice to 'meet' you, so to speak. Deer are not my friends, but we have a good anti-deer system here, thanks to geography and equines.

  6. Glad Denny is OK too. And speaking of deer, I have a summer home on the west side of the state (Michigan); it's perched over a river and some woods. In the front, I've tried to have a perennial garden, but every time I drive out to the house on summer weekends, I discover that the deer have eaten all my flowers, and chewed up the lawn. Your sentiments echo mine. I've tried coyote pee granules, you name it, to curb the problem...

  7. I remember when the deer literally at my entire garden down to nubs when I lived in upstate New York. I actually grew to hate those lovely creatures! We don't see deer very often here in Los Angeles, though. Only coyotes...

  8. I am so glad Denny is okay. He is a sweet man, obviously.

  9. I'm glad that your Denny is fine.
    I miss gardening now, so your post above was refreshing too.

  10. Be sure to check yourself regularly for ticks. If you have that many deer, you may also have millions of ticks living in your flora. Lyme disease is no fun at all. That was once an East Coast thing, but an entomologist told me recently the ticks have migrated all over the country in the last 15years.
    With so many animals coming through our yard in VT, I don't bother to fight off the deer but used to thwart them in NYS with smelly plants: marigold, achillea, monarda, lavender. They do love their blossom stew, don't they?


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