New Year’s Visitors

WGI_0020As you can see from the photo ( our game camera) we have had some unwelcome visitors to the nursery. These deer are feeding under an apple tree that is barely twenty feet from the back of our barn. The lack of snow has given deer the ability to travel freely in search of food. This years heavy apple crop has been enjoyed by the deer in lieu of acorns and beechnuts that were scarce. This particular tree drops its apples late in the season well after the other trees have. In past years we have not had the deer come this close, but now that we are without a good nursery dog, this was bound to happen. While we enjoy all wildlife, deer especially have no place in a plant nursery just as a fox doesn’t belong in the hen house. As many of you know, deer can do a lot of damage to your landscape in a very short time. We will have to take measures to curtail them this winter if the snows doesn’t come to keep them in the woods.We are fortunate to live in such a wooded and rural area and that we can enjoy (and see) the wildlife that wander not far from this very homestead. We just prefer that they respect their boundaries. A lot to ask, we know. This being said, it is not surprising that our worlds overlap from time to time. Deer in the nursery, fox in the hen house, coyote contemplating how to get around the sheep fence. Yes, a plan will be made to keep the deer away from the plants we grow, but we wouldn’t want to change living amongst our wild neighbors. We will just kindly remind them to dine elsewhere.WGI_0044

17 comments on “New Year’s Visitors

  1. Ours don’t wait for the cover of darkness. We see a doe and year-old fawn helping themselves in the woodland garden about once a week. Thankfully, they have not climbed the stairs into the back garden yet. Keep us updated.

    • So far Marian no real damage, but you can imagine the worry when our bread and butter is earned by selling plants! I’ll write a post soon about our dog, Boreal, who was king of the nursery and always made the rounds on night patrol. It made a difference!

  2. Our next door neighbor puts feed out for them. (Insert whatever curse words you’d like here.) I’ve tried talking to her for a couple of years and can’t convince her to stop. I had to wrap all my blueberry bushes, one tree and we have one niteguard hanging on a fence post. Then they cross through her yard and get hit by the cars – four got killed in the road last year. Here’s to you finding a plan that works because what you do requires too much hard work to just provide a salad bar. 🙂

    • Oh my, I’m afraid your neighbor and I would be having a word or two( insert more of those curse words). Yes, when you make a living growing and selling plants, these wild vegetarians can become a problem. The deer have had such easy travel without the deep snow, and because the apples ( some of which still hang with temptation) have been plentiful…the deer are going for the good stuff. We may be buying another freezer! Any plans made for your Ireland trip? I may go over in February, I’ll let you know.

      • When I covered all the blueberry plants up with row cover and burlap, can you spell ugly, she asked me what I was doing. So, I said that since she continued to feed them I had to protect the bushes. She asked me ‘why’ and as politely as possible I replied that they eat all the new growth and I start over at the same spot every year. She looked at me and said they really weren’t that ugly. So, I’m thinking I’m going to need to do real ugly next year. 🙂 Here’s the link to the tour we’re doing:

        • Maybe fluorescent orange burlap would be ugly enough…I’ll check out the tour!! So glad you are traveling to the Emerald Isles…you’ll love it and just think of all the beautiful doors you’ll photograph!

    • yes, we will be directing some real attention and effort around deer removal. For farmers and nurserymen, as you probably know, allowances are made with regards to hunting deer that are a potential threat to your crop. We’ll try some other things first, but we may be buying another freezer.

      • I didn’t know that, It’s not the worst option I could think of so long as it is not abused, which of course you wouldn’t do. I imagine that number of deer could do some damage in a very short time.

        • W e would only resort to this if they begin to really damage plants… is amazing how quickly deer can wipe out certain crops or plants. Hopefully, our other tactics will work and they can just find other areas to browse. Amazing, they have hundreds of acres to roam, but recently have set their sites on the apples and some of our woodys. I may still be over in February, I’ll let you know …still want to travel down for a visit?

        • No doubt about the damage. Look at how much bigger they are than birds and cabbage butterfly and they do some damage with amazing speed.

          I wouldn’t pass an opportunity to meet up. What an honour it would be to meet some of the lovely people you talk about and to spend some more time with you two ladies also. So much admire your spirits and would love more of it to rub off on me. ❤ I mean that sincerely…two positively wonderful women, with huge hearts, so thoughtful, and really value nature, people, animals, simplicity of living. Only wish you lived closer!!

        • Let’s put a plan together for all good spirits to mingle! I think it will be toward the end of February, I’ll see Sally this week and will know better. It would be great, great, great to have your company!

  3. They look like alien marauders with those glowing eyes! I know we have deer in our vicinity–I see their hoof prints in the snow when I take walks–but they don’t seem to come into our lot. I hope you find a way to discourage them!

    • First time we have had them step into the nursery/growing area. Really, this coincides with losing our beloved half Border Collie last summer. He was the groundsman here, and kept everything at bay. We sure miss him!

      • Maybe there’s a pup out there, just hoping to take up his work? I do know how hard it is to lose a beloved pet, though, and to even begin to think about getting another . . .

  4. Oh my. They do look like invading aliens. I imagine they could wipe out your plants with stunning efficiency. Sorry to hear that your lost your groundsman dog. Perhaps you should add an extra freezer and another herding breed pup to the household.

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