Thursday, October 17, 2013

Trick or Treat or Smashing Pumpkins?

This morning as I was driving out of our little village, I saw a man standing next to his parked car taking photos of a herd of deer that were munching on the manicured lawns in our neighborhood.  "Must be a tourist," I thought.  Those of us who live here see deer in our yards all day long.  It is quite commonplace to walk around our block of homes and see a herd of five to ten deer grazing near the sidewalk.

I must admit I have a love/hate relationship with these creatures.  At times, I am enthralled with watching them.  This spring, as I awoke one morning, my first sight of the day was of a few baby fawns scampering across the back lawn.  That is a delightful way to start the day.

Then, these creatures eat my flowers, and I am not a very happy lady.  I become determined to keep them from eating my delicate blooms by spraying everything with Liquid Fence.  Learning what plants they really don't like to eat, I concentrate on planting these.  Gardening is a challenge here.

During the spring of the year, we mainly see the doe.  At the beginning of spring, they appear to be quite thin except for their bulging midsections.  Soon, there are reports of one or two of them giving birth to baby fawns in the back yards of various neighbors.  

I must admit it is fun to watch the fawns grow and develop.  As summer progresses, it is interesting to watch the young bucks sprout antlers.  These antlers begin as little buttons and grow a bit bigger day by day.  Soon, these outgrowths are covered in velvet.  

Then, in early fall, the large buck suddenly appear.  I have no idea where they have been since late last fall.  The entire dynamic of the deer population seems to shift.  Life seems less carefree among the herds.  I notice a few of the doe begin to follow a large buck as he proudly and arrogantly walks through my back lawn area.  I also notice that the bucks claim a certain territory and begin to strip the plants of foliage that the other deer have mostly left alone on summer.  I finally give up in protecting my plants.  In fact, I pulled up all the remaining potted plants and placed some pumpkins on the porch as fall decorations.

Imagine my shock today when I glanced out the front door and saw this:

I was actually speaking to my husband on the phone when I noticed this big buck eating one of my pumpkins!  I had no idea deer liked pumpkins.  For some reason, I was pretty upset about this buck thinking he had the right to come up on my porch and claim this pumpkin for his dinner.

I tried to scare him away, but he just nonchalantly licked his chomps.

As you can see, I made quite an impression on him didn't impress him at all.

I hope you can watch the video.  If you can, notice how this creature is biting through that pumpkin.  I was quite intrigued with the power of those jaws.

Each month brings new sights in our neck of the woods.  It is October.  My neighbor asked me today if we get any trick or treaters.  I told her "no."  Last year, I didn't have one trick or treater on my doorstep.  I need to call her tomorrow and revise my answer.  We had trick or treaters early this year.  We had a buck on the porch who went beyond smashing our pumpkins.  He ate one!  

P.S.  I just mentioned to my husband that perhaps we should make sure we throw away the piece of pumpkin the buck left behind.  I don't want Mama Bear to come around and eat that!


  1. Oh dear!! (no pun intended.)
    I love the photos...and especially the video. You are "blessed" with dear...and as I watched the video and listened to you say, "Shoo"....I was thinking that here in South Jawja, we would say "Shoo"...with a "t" on the end of it. He would be a trophy for someone's wall, I'm sure.
    I love deer...couldn't shoot one...ever. But I do have a lot of friends that wouldn't think twice about it (in season, of course.)
    Hope that you are able to enjoy your flowers....and that the deer don't devour them.
    I had no idea that deer ate pumpkin.
    Love this blog.
    Hugs to you,

  2. HI Amazing a buck on your porch and you managed to capture him in the 'act'. Oh you must have a time trying to keep them from eating everything. Just a tip, video are better taken in landscape.

  3. We watched a deer eating the jack O'lantern in our neighbors front yard a few years ago. When Mike and I toured on vacations, we definitely noticed that the western deer were far more complacent abut humans than those we see at home. That buck had no intention of giving up his snack just because you were shooing him!

  4. We don't have deer roaming around in our neighborhood, but some critter has been eating holes in pumpkins on peoples porches and leaving the insides of the pumpkins all over the place. I took a picture yesterday to post about it.
    I can see how you have a love/hate relationship with the deer. They are beautiful to watch, but quite an irritation when they eat your plants.

  5. Shoo! Shoo!! You obviously weren't forceful enough Sally! I notice you were keeping your distance in that little video! Ha Ha!! It must be lovely to see the baby fawns, but, oh my, not good that they eat all your plants like that. Such a shame! Can't believe how he was chomping into that pumpkin!!

  6. Shoo-Shoo... Reminds me of the time we were camping in the Smokies --and a bear came and devoured our dinner. We stood off to the side and said "Shoo shoo"--but he paid NO attention to us!!!!! ha ha

    I also have a love-hate relationship with the deer. I love them--but hate them when they eat our flowers/plants.... Maybe next time, spray your pumpkins with Liquid Fence also!!!!! ha


  7. See, your life has constant updates, not just the simple changes of season, but changes in the eating habits of the local deer population. We are in awe at that buck eating the pumpkin.
    We are definitely challenging them.

  8. I thought we had a deer problem here, but after reading this post, I realize our problem could be a whole lot worse! The only deer damage in my flower garden this summer was one hosta chewed down to ground level. I planted sunflowers one year but gave up after one season because deer love sunflower blossoms. Darn critters, but also darned pretty and the baby fawns are adorable. I make a deer deterrent to spray on plants by blending an egg some milk, then stirring in a little dish detergent. I spray this on plants, but I got a little lazy with spraying hostas, apparently.

  9. Dear Sally, he certainly wasn't going anywhere, at least not on anyone else's terms no matter how they--she--told him to "shoo, shoo, shoo!" This is a great story to share the next time you have friends over for a visit. Serve pumpkin muffins or scone and good hot tea and tell about your very own trick-or-treater! Peace.

  10. I had to laugh as I listened to your attempt at shooing away that huge buck! I didn't know they eat pumpkins, but I guess they are nutritious, so there you go! :-)

  11. I'm still smitten my deer, but I can understand how you feel when they eat your plants...and now your decorations, too!

  12. I just posted today about the damage a randy buck did with do one of trees. A blogging friend, Dee, linked me to your blog, thinking I might appreciate it - and I do. I use the same phrase of a love/hate relationship, and, I can truly identify with your video. I've been known to open the front door, screaming "get out of my garden".
    Wonderful post.
    Penny, from lifeonthecutoff

  13. You made me smile with this, Sally, though I'd share your frustration. I saw a doe and fawn in my yard last week - on the very day I saw the bear on the trail. It seems the deer only come close to our house during hunting season - I'm not sure why, but it sure saves my gardens. I'd have to warn you that a bear once came in the night a few years ago and attempted to rip open our garage door because I had cantaloup rinds in a hefty bag inside my garbage can. Since then, I put everything I can down the disposal! A pumpkin outside at my house would definitely lure the critters!

  14. Ha ha, he not only wasn't impressed by your shooing but he looked in great shape from all the good groceries you provide.
    If I had the option of flowers or deer as lawn ornaments, I would take the deer.

  15. Oh my. What an interesting post. I'm astonished at the "tameness" of your deer. What have quite a few in our rural/suburban neighborhood but they rarely come among the houses except in winter to check out the bird feeders. Perhaps all the surrounding corn fields keep them occupied the rest of the years....:)

  16. So THAT'S what was eating our pumpkins last fall ... and we thought it was probably raccoons. We probably should have known -- it's the deer pellets in the grass that tell the tale.

  17. I loved your photos and your account of the seasonal deer action. Since I don't have a green thumb anyway I might just use the deer as an excuse to give up my gardening attempts. But I think I would share your frustration with their claiming the neighborhood as their favorite diner.

  18. What a brazen buck! The little fawns traipsing across your lawn are so cute, but I can understand your frustration as they get bigger and plunder your garden. The thought of bears on my doorstep, though, would be enough to keep me indoors!

  19. I had to laugh reading this, Sally! I just got back from visiting my cousins in Cleveland and was entranced by the deer that came through their yard, gently munching. A whole herd, one night and the next morning (when the camera was at hand) two beautiful does. My cousin said, 'you wouldn't think that if you lived here and tried to have a garden!" love/hate indeed! A delightful post in every way!

  20. And I thought I had enough problems with moles! I have a blogger friend in Illinois who has deer in her garden like this and she too loves watching them, but hates what they do to her plants. But she never mentioned them eating pumpkins. :-)

  21. He's a bold one! I understand the love/hate thing given what they do to yards but they are lovely. Our neighbor in Maine who had a large vegie garden had our Malamute pee all around her fence in lieu of coyote urine. Worked like a charm!

  22. I enjoyed your video. It looked like after the first "shoos", he rolled the pumpkin a little bit so you could better see just how much he had already eaten. Pretty brazen buck. He is sure a healthy looking deer, all of the delicious pumpkins and garden salads he eats really keep him in tip top shape.

    The deer are so beautiful. We don't have them in our neighborhood, but just a couple of miles away they have became a nuisance. It would be aggravating to lose plants, and pumpkins, to them.

  23. The deer is eating your pumpkins? Here in Illinois it's the squirrels and chipmunks that are the culprits. We'll have lots for them to eat tomorrow.


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