Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Deer Country: Should I Surrender?

The Leaning Deer Fence of Meadow Glenn

Grandson Kevin helped me build a barricade of iron fence posts and 2”x3” welded wire fencing around our redosier dogwoods (Cornus sericea) nearly two years ago to protect them from local deer that have placed them high on their browsing lists.  Fort Kevin worked well—until last night.

When I drove down our driveway this morning after a visit to the fitness room at the Howard County Community Center in Glenwood, I was shocked to see the six iron fence posts bent nearly 45° at ground level and decorated with crumpled fencing that had been nearly ripped off the posts.

“I can’t believe this,” I said to myself.  “Why now?  The dogwood shrubs have dropped their leaves.  There’s nothing there for deer to eat.”

Two bent posts with crumpled wire between
Closer inspection of the closest dogwood branches revealed no evidence of browsing at the ends of the red twigs, so I concluded that browsing wasn’t involved.  The most likely cause: A buck, perhaps Big Buck 2011, decided to use the posts to polish his antlers—crumpling the in-the-way wire in the process.  A less likely cause: A deer decided to show this Ancient Gardener who’s really in change of the landscape at Meadow Glenn after the sun sets.

Is it time for me to surrender to our herd of bambits?

Of course not.  I’ve already straightened the bent posts as much as I could and tried to rearrange the wire a bit, and I've put "Rebuild dogwood age" on my mental list of jobs to do before next spring.

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