So this blog is a bit of a confession......a not-so-wonderful-mother-of the-year-moment I had recently. As those of you who follow my blog know, we've named our resident black tail deer- Delores. She has been responsible for a lot of damage- remediation and consternation around here. Now of course, Delores isn't always alone. She has had a few friends over to chew their way through the pumpkin patch and orchard. But, Delores has been the main stay until recently.
I had personally put 1,000 pumpkin seeds into the ground this Spring. Heirlooms, warty ones, fairytales, giant ones, oblong and pie pumpkins. We had sorted out the water, invested in lots of local compost and got the patch ready with our double layered fencing that had been relatively successful around the Jam Patch the year before.
Despite our efforts, Delores and her friends spent the first months of the season literally mowing down the patch- jumping over the electric fence, barging through the sextuple layer monofilament barricade. Adam had chased her off. Stuart had done his best.....but, Delores and her friends had prevailed.
As the Harvest Festival neared we were resolved to the fact that in order to sell any pumpkins, we'd have to bring them in from another local farmer. Well, that's profitable! Imagine our surprise when we finally went out to our own patch and found over 100 pumpkins hidden amongst the vines. Most of them were green due to the fact that in reality they were fruiting 6 weeks late after being mowed down repeatedly by Delores and her occasional crew.
Goodness- I felt so guilty- reviling one of God's gentle creatures who in fact hadn't taken everything. I hadn't even seen her in the last number of weeks. I wondered if she was ok? "Sorry for despising you Delores," I muttered as we loaded up the pumpkins to sell at last weekend's Harvest Festival. I realized how much energy I had put into being completely angry at her. Not angry enough to get a gun out- but certainly angry enough to look up venison recipes.
So- imagine my chagrin last Friday- the day before the Festival- when I turned into the driveway with the kids in the back of the truck. I was liking the look of the orchard. Adam and I had gussied up the front entrance, I had mowed and raked up the leaves- everything was ready for tomorrow's guests. And that's when I saw her- Delores!.....and she wasn't alone. With her was her SET OF TWINS and they were ripping into our apple tree- causing apples to cascade down on the ground.
What erupted from my mouth was nothing less than shocking- It was a battle cry worthy of my Scandinavian heritage. Worse yet I then yelled at my children...."GET DELORES!" They erupted from the truck, screaming their own battle cries and flew across the orchard. To Delores' and fawns' credit, they high-tailed it out of there probably as shocked as I was at the ear-piercing din.
We've already purchased deer fencing for next year. Maybe then I can look at her and be calm. Maybe then I can encourage a little bit of wildlife-appreciation in my kids instead of appealing to their predatory nature. Maybe......
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