Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dear Deer:


When I ran outside in the falling rain, camera in hand, hollering~~"Hey, what are you doing here?" did I startle you? You both looked at me with such shock in your eye...a true deer in the headlight moment. Then, you turned white tail on me and disappeared with a few neat leaps!

Can you please tell me how you discovered Clay and Limestone? Has a notice been posted somewhere that gave you the impression this was an open seating restaurant? It is clear to me that you managed to scoot past the maitre d'. This is a quality place and reservations are required!

I hope you found the menu unappetizing, the atmosphere too rushed and noisy and the wait staff entirely too bossy. The next time you decide to drop by...please call...I am sure it will save you a lot of trouble if you know ahead of time that the tables are all taken! This is a very popular spot...we feed an early morning crowd of chicadees, titmice and cardinals.

If you decide to drop by again, please use the paths to enter! I really liked that coneflower that you trampled all over. It was reserved for the Bloom Day post table.

Also, the hollyhocks were not your appetizer. When you nibbled on the stems you managed to pull it completely out of the ground. The manager is not happy! You don't get to eat off other people plates! This is an upscale place...decorum is the norm.

After thinking about your menu requests...Let me reassure you that there is a very fine smorgasbord just down the street. They serve all the Bur Oak Acorns two deer could ever want. I know how it is when you find a place that serves your favorite food...you want to return again and again! Let me assure you...Bur Oak Acorns are being taken off the menu immediately. I know it is your favorite food, so tomorrow, I am going to rake them all up and put them in another yard...just for you!

Sincerely,

Gail
Clay and Limestone
Chez Cedar, proprietor

63 comments:

  1. Hey Gail,
    This has to be a first of me getting here first!

    As for the deer, I'm not surprised they're venturing in, given how much of their habitat is taken away almost daily. Even in an old part of the city here, we see lots of deer in our area, and have even seen them walking right by our house!

    For us, the problem isn't the deer, it's the numerous WereRabbits, who last year devoured our hollyhocks (thus few blooms this year). Maybe what keeps the deer out is the profusion of daffodils around the front of the house? They're supposed to repel them.

    I hate it too, when some renegade comes through and tramples a favorite flower, but here it's usually some big dog getting rambunctious....

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  2. Let me know if that letter works for you, Gail. If so, I'll start penning one of my own.

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  3. Hi Gail, oh dear oh deer, thank you for a most amuzing story / Tyra

    TYRA'S GARDEN

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  4. Even the finest establishments sometimes find themselves having to 86 unruly customers! Here's hoping you've seen the last of your ill-mannered guests!

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  5. Oh Gail,
    I know how heartbreaking this can be from my brother who lived in deer country.
    Shoo!
    Stay away from Clay and Limestone!!!
    I mean it.
    I hope this invective from half way across the planet helps.

    Patrick used to place bags lifeboy soap. Also, there was talk of mountain lion urine, but we never did get that far as to how to buy that!
    Gail, I am sorry for the raiders into your garden.

    Sincerely,
    Philip

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  6. Hi Gail, well you got busy after you hung up on me after shouting DEER! into the phone! Sorry, Don needed to stretch his legs. I was sure there would be a photo, but you must have scared them with your tirade which I doubt was as polite as this lovely letter. I don't blame you one bit. My friend in Kingsport has a terrible deer infestation, she loves them but they eat everything! You are a smart one removing the acorns. I wonder if this was there first venture into Chez Clay?

    Frances

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  7. ah, we are often plagued by this problem too; not in the rear of the cottage anymore, we put 6 foot high deer fencing all round, but at the front and on the drive( They ate all my roses). This year they even developed a palette for perlagoniums! We get Muncjack, Fallow and Roe, all beautiful in the woods adjacent, but not by my front door!

    I have yet to discover deer proof plants, if they are hungry enough they eat it, so disheartening when they swipe your prize plants

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  8. That was a great reprimand! We don't have deer problems here, at my old house, all the time until we got an outside dog.

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  9. What an amusing letter for a not so amusing situation. I hope after you move the acorns that they take the hint. I bet your garden is just too yummy to them.

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  10. IVG,

    I was completely surprised! I shouldn't have been! The largest wooded area was replaced with a shopping center. That is a long story for another time.

    I did read that Bur Oak acorns are on their list and they were nibbling on them...I will see if they return this morning! I haven't seen evidence that they were here before...

    I see lots of rabbits but no plant damage yet!
    It is always something, right? Plenty of dafs but the acorns are everywhere!

    You were up early today! Glad you stopped by!

    Gail

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  11. Oh I feel your pain. I hope that with the acorns removed they forget about that nice full feeder and find better places to visit.

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  12. Pam,

    I think a petition is next! I do hope they aren't comfy here! It's the front yard, hard to fence! As you know...so sorry about the dear deer!

    Gail

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  13. Tyra,

    Hi! It was laugh or get very upset! I have to choose laughing...maybe they won't be by again! Have a nice rest of your day!

    Gail

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  14. cindy, mcok,

    We need a bouncer! A big, noisy, unfriendly to deer, but friendly to people dog is needed! Rent a dog to the rescue! Cindy, I sure hope it was just a pass through on their way to some other spot and not their regular morning route!

    Gail

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  15. Phillip,

    Thank you for the support invective! All help (including the urine idea) are welcome! Mountain lion urine...hmmm. That would scare most of us away! Have you ever been to Big Cat Country at the zoo! That smell is bad! You can get anything you want on the internet!

    I remain hopeful that it was a one stop visit!

    Gail

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  16. Frances,

    I did get a photo...but it made me dizzy to look at it...very fuzzy as it was the first one through the screen on the porch. It was too weird..when I got close enough to get a good photo they gracefully leapt away!

    I remain hopeful that they will not return...there are less hostile places with Bur acorns! You know my street is busy during the breakfast rush!

    You are very lucky thy don't venture on your hill! Although Mountain Goats would be happier!

    Gail

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  17. I sure hope that pesky deer listens to your plea to dine elsewhere, especially since you asked so nicely:)

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  18. Zoe,

    I am sorry that you have them, too! What a pain...But, isn't it amazing that they can delicately eat rose buds and berries even with all those thorns! Ok...I will not romanticize them! I will not romanticize them....I will not romanticize them!

    Gail

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  19. Darla,

    A big dog might help...I have a medium sized indoor cat! He is no help! Sigh!

    Gail

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  20. Lisa,

    I hope removing the acorns works but, they may have gotten a taste of this gourmet garden delight! But maybe not...the Salvia greggii that is blooming isn't supposed to be palatable to their taste buds! We will see!

    Gail

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  21. Cindy,

    Exactly! Go away...there are better places down the road...friendly people, too! Thanks Cindy for stopping by to commiserate with me!

    Gail

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  22. Tina,

    Wait till the bouncer gets here! No more nice Gail! I do hope they don't come back....About 15 years ago I saw a male deer in the yard...same time of year, might have been the acorns, too...but he quickly left when I showed him the door! Do you have to worry about deer?

    Gail

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  23. Not so far. I have a 6 fence foot around one whole side, a farmers field on the back, evergreens and chain link everywhere else, including the front. Plus four dogs help I think. So far so good-knock on wood. If I had a deer problem life in the garden would be way more worrisome to me as I would not look kindly at all on deer munching my plants. It would also be worrisome to the deer and I hear all sorts of stories about how bad they are so I consider myself TOO lucky! A good thing.

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  24. Oh no! I take this very seriously (see my post today).

    I do hope you just had a few transients. This time of year (breeding season), the young males especially will have to find new homes as the stronger bucks run them off.

    I've had to learn far too much about deer. If you need any tips just drop me an email (link on my below the "about me" section).

    United against deer!
    Cameron

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  25. Ah they got your too! They've been camping out somewhere in our backyard. Impressions in the grass tell me they are still around. As for their menu, they will try nearly anything. Guard your witch hazel well, for mine has been munched!

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  26. Dave,

    I will check to see if they munched them! I think they were here for the acorns! Which are plentiful...I saw evidence of munching on them...just now I only see Chip and Dale having a run about the yard collecting all the fallen nuts! Hickory nuts are everywhere! What does the lore have to say about big acorn crops?

    Gail

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  27. I do hope this letter works, Gail! We have deer occasionally in our yard, but so far (fingers crossed) they don't seem to have eaten any plants from the garden. Although they are the prime suspects in the breaking of my favorite birdbath.
    Raking up the acorns and putting them in another yard sounds like a plan to me!

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  28. Cameron,

    That is serious damage to your trees! So far only acorn nibbling and a few trampled plants has occurred. It may only get worse if developers have their way and continue to remove all the deer habitat.

    Gail

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  29. Rose,

    You have that big Bur in your yard! Maybe they have been waiting for the acorns to fall! I think that occasional visit are okay...as long as they eat the acorns and then wander on down the road to another place for dessert!

    gail

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  30. Tina,

    Can I rent one of your pooches;-)

    Gail

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  31. Hey Gail, it's hard to keep the riff-raff out of a classy establishment;) I have a four legged bouncer who is tough on customers without reservations.
    Marnie

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  32. Oh, this is disturbing news, and made even worse by Dave's comment that they're eating his witch hazels. I thought they weren't supposed to like those. But then I've found them sampling all kinds of things they're not supposed to like (rosemary), while ignoring other plants that are said to be deer candy (tulips). If only they were ugly repulsive creatures, instead of beautiful graceful ones, I'd have a much easier time chasing them away.

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  33. Marnie,

    We can try to turn them away but when a place has a fine reputation and is part of the slow food and eat local movement everyone wants to dine here!

    I need to hire a new bouncer for sure! The present one talks nicely to everyone and is a total romantic!

    Gail

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  34. entangled,

    Sigh! They seem to defy all the rules...but they weren't here this morning so maybe I intimidated them with my questions and bold movements into the garden!

    I take it they love your place, too! I am so sorry to hear that!

    Gail

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  35. Gail I know how frustrating it must be! The varmints use to drive me crazy around the house, mostly just the squirrels and stray cats. They all disappeared when the storm came thru. I think they are somewhere in Oz now. :-)-Randy

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  36. Cute post Gail, lol. I'm glad I don't have to deal with deer in my garden. I can just imagine my little dog Spaz trying to chase one of those things. :) Yesterday she was chasing a Hawk, but that's another story. lol

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  37. Gail, what a cute post. I had to laugh. Sorry about the deer partaking of your smorgasbord. They could just leave yours alone & dine on the nuts alone. They love the nuts.

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  38. Randy,

    Chip and Dale along with some zany squirrels are manageable...these big critters do a lot more damage.
    Sigh. A big electric fence around the yard...well, let's see if they return! Thanks for commiserating with me!
    Gail

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  39. Racquel,

    A few weeks ago I thought the same thing! But we have been seeing a few down the street....the Bur acorns might have been too attractive to pass up. There are still lots of wooded acres a few miles from here...they must be foraging and wandering about!


    Thanks for your visit! Would Spaz like to visit Nashville...he can test his skills on the deer! Can't wait to hear the hawk story.

    Gail

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  40. lola,

    Those are my thoughts exactly and I am having a talk with Mother Nature about this huge Bur Oak acorn crop she sent my way!

    Glad to make you smile!

    Gail

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  41. That's a very civilized letter Gail. Should they refuse to read it and comply, I'd photocopy the appropriate page from Joy of Cooking and staple to a post. In the meantime, I have heard some people have had success with deer repellents containing Bitrex. And of course if you'd like to borrow one Dog Guide puppy......
    Barbarapc

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  42. Barbara,

    I think your guide dog puppy would be a fun bouncer!

    I hope I don't have to call upon any repellants...this was just a wander by. Do you think if I say it enough times I can make it true?

    Yes I think Joy of Cooking ...has the perfect recipe!

    Thanks for helping and the offer of the loan dog!

    Gail

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  43. Oh dear Gail (sorry could not resist that opening)......fortunately I do not get deer here, they can do such a lot of damage......

    BUT

    I do have a rabbit warren in my garden.......so I have them everyday.....I have learned to garden differently, but is has been a mind game, it really has

    Don't forget to put the closed sign up!!

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  44. I do need a closed sign! I am so sorry about the rabbits they are a menace...Public Enemy number 1 to many of the garden bloggers. These pests are getting too clever for me! Glad you stopped by and I hope your weekend is rabbit free!

    gail

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  45. LOL. I know this is not amusing but it's good to see your humor is still intact! What is it about hollyhocks that deer and rabbits both love?? I don't have a deer problem but definitely a rabbit one and my poor hollyhocks never get to blooming stage. All I could also think is maybe there is a silver lining to my Bur Oak not developing acorns?? Good luck with the offender. On the bright side, it's not spring so he's not chewing up all your new tender growth!

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  46. Gail, I absolutely loved this post! Your sense of humor does you justice. I don't think I could have found much humor in a situation like this. I loved all the clever comments too. Hope thse deer were simply passing through and won't be regular visitors.

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  47. Kathleen,

    You must make sure your Bur Oak never bares acorns Is that right? It looks weird, surely it can't be bears acorns? Any way have a talk with Mother Nature!

    Yes it could worse! A sense of humor is important in life...especially when gardening....the late freeze, the early frost, the droughts! Gotta laugh! Thankfully I am not a farmer!

    Take care and have a good weekend. Good post today! You ought to have some lively discussions!

    gail

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  48. Dear Beckie,

    You know a sense of humor can get us through the worst times! Not so hard to laugh if you had seen me running back inside to get the camera and then back outside barefoot in 50 degree rainy weather to confront the interlopers! I was chatting with Frances (Fairegarden) and totally surprised her! Then the photo was so fuzzy just looking at it gave me vertigo!

    They won't be back, they won't be back. they won't be back! I am practicing positive thinking!

    Have a delightful weekend! Free of hassles!

    Gail

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  49. Gail, I was amused by your post but I know it is not an amusing situation. I was just reading about deer problems on another blog. An aunt of mine was having problems with deer and I read that a solution of 20% eggs and 80% water applied monthly would keep them away from plants. I don't know if that actually works or not.

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  50. What a fun post, Gail! If only the deer would listen to you!!

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  51. Phillip,

    Thanks I will keep all these hints in mind...my hope is that they were just browsing the street! I live in an older suburb that has ridges and pockets of forest that have always been here and housed deer, foxes and other critters! I was out this afternoon trying to rake up the acorns...not easy! Thank you for the suggestion and I hope you hv a mighty fine weekend!

    Gail

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  52. dp,

    Hi I have been watching for them...the problem is that they look like Bambi and have voracious appetites!

    gail

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  53. You had better turn off the OPEN sign or they may return. :) Deer are creatures of habit and when they find something they like, they will return! I put whole corn out for our deer herd and they mostly stay to the corn but every now and then, I find something missing in the garden. They love pansies. My dad planted over $100 of them by his green house and the next morning, every one of them was gone! I still harass him about his $100 meal for the deer. We just laugh but he never planted any more. I have planted pansies every year but last year and they only ate a few in one planter. Since they ate those, I never planted them again. Strange thing though, they never touched them until two years ago. Go Figure….

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  54. Skeeter,

    Picture me covering my ears and singing lalalallalalalal...as I deny the possibility that they will return!

    I am curious as to where they came from and if it was chance that brought them here or the smell of Bur acorns! This was only two deer not the whole herd...unless these are the scouts! Are they smart enough to send out scouts;-)

    I will keep you all posted if they return! Have a fun weekend...are you gettung the cold weather we are scheduled to get?

    gail

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  55. Those crazy deer like to show up uninvited, don't they? I haven't noticed any major damage lately so I'll keep my fingers crossed that they found a new place to dine.

    Just in case, I hung some soap in some of my old nylons in my apple trees. I hope that gives them the hint that they aren't allowed to nibble on my tree buds!

    I had forgotten that I planned on making acorn pancakes. Earlier this fall I collected a bunch of acorns and I'd get to it later. Um, I just found those acorns a couple of weeks ago and they were full of maggots. There went that idea. Maybe next year! At least it got the acorns out of my yard.

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  56. Cinj,

    Hi there! Acorn pancakes...had you convinced the kids and Cheesehead to try them?

    I will keep the soap in a nylon idea handy in case they come back...in the meantime isn't that a good use for nylons! I sure don't want to have to wear them ever again!

    Enjoy your weekend.

    Gail

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  57. LOL! But... I'm sorry to hear about your uninvited dinner guests, too! :)

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  58. I feel for you! Last winter when the snow was so deep, there was a trail that led across my front yard right to the 1 Yew I want to keep and then veered off through the neighbor's yard. I wearied of having my shrub as a featured item on the daily menu. The poor plant still hasn't fully recovered. Remind me to spray it with Plantskydd before winter sets in.

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  59. Kim,

    Me, too! May they find another place to nibble on their kibble!

    gail

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  60. MMd,

    Sounds like a good plan...must remind MMD to spray her yew and must remove deer from my yard!

    They are not going to be dining at your house or mine this winter!

    Gail

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  61. Yes Gail, it is burrrry chilly today but still not as cold as you are. The wind is the killer...

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  62. There's nothing for it Gail, you have to get a dog now, you know :). Ah deer...no deer in Hong Kong, just Monkey, parrots and civits! I did see a squirrel the other day - very rare.

    I DON'T miss the deer!! But your post brings back memories...

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  63. I saw deer tracks in our garden two years ago and it was the first time, which is surprising, because there are a lot of them around here. I immediately sprayed PlantSkydd all around and I never saw them again, or any signs of them after that. I'm glad they stay away!

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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