Did you ever set out to write something and then realize that to do so would be a bit Disengenuous, Dear Reader? This morning as I looked over my list of possible topics to be brought to you by the letter D, I thought, man I do not want to write about Depression or Drinking. I’m not suffering from either at the moment (knock on wood), and even if I were, I’m not sure that I want to be Defined by either of those words, though god knows I have been in the past.
So I pushed away from the computer this morning and decided to go for a run instead of writing, hoping that inspiration might strike while my body was otherwise occupied. As I began my second circuit around the lake and settled into a cadence, I realized that in all the times I’d run there I had not once seen Deer. And why would they be here, I realized with a jolt, when all the tasty treats are in the yards nearby?
If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you’ll know that I’ve written previously about the godDamn Deer in the neighborhood. Monday Dawned bright and glorious, and I eventually Dragged myself out of the house after my early morning run thinking I should Do something productive in the yard since winter seems, finally, to be over.
Things are blooming—or would be if the fucking Deer hadn’t eaten everything in my yard except the tiny smattering of Daffodils under the birch tree. As I surveyed my flower beds, I became Depressed and Despondent—as far as my eyes could see the Deer had wreaked havoc: Tulips? Gone. Pretty purple flowers? Gone. Tiger lily? Chewed to the quick. Nascent hasta? Nubbins. The remaining hollyhocks? Mowed down.
Well, fuck this, I thought to myself and headed to the garage for my shovel. I couldn’t stand to look at the Destruction any longer. I couldn’t take being assaulted with this Degradation every time I wandered out the front Door, Dammit. Time to Do something. If I can’t enjoy the beauty of my bulbs, then the Damn Deer weren’t going to get anymore either, I Decided.
It hasn’t always been this way. For the first ten years I lived here (and during which time I planted said bulbs and other Deer Delicacies), my roses grew tall and strong and bloomed Deliciously. The hollyhocks waved all summer in magenta glory, and the tulips pushed through the soil and blossomed into an array of loveliness. But something changed.
The Deer left the nearby parks and woods with their boring diets of . . . whatever Deer used to eat before they tasted our suburban garden Delights. Now they roam in large packs, marauding up and down the city streets on a culinary circuit of Destruction. Not in my yard. No more.
I set about Digging up the bulbs. I cleared the beds of anything the Deer liked to chew on. No more tulips. No more pretty purple flowers. No more hasta. Bye-bye hollyhocks. I’d already gotten rid of the roses a couple of years ago in a similar fit of pique when I came out one day to find the ready-to-burst buds of the previous day completely Desecrated.
I replaced the rose bushes with California lilac, which, truth be told, is not really cutting it for me. I miss my roses, but I can’t go back to the days of constant vigilance—the spraying, the stress, the watching, the knowing that as soon as the rains come and wash off a coating of the (sadly) non-toxic deer repellent, the beasts will be back to strip my yard of its Delights.
I’m sure I will miss the greenery that pops up each spring, a reminder that winter is finally moving on, that summer awaits. But it is time for a new normal. Time to take control and beat back these feelings of helplessness and Despondency. I will buy more Daffodil bulbs this fall and plant them everywhere. I will get more peonies and some irises (I don’t think the Deer like irises). I will plant more lavender. There will be no more free Deer lunches. Not in my back (or front) yard.