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!