It was chilly & the rains were back. With the soil moist it was a good time to dig & destroy dandelions. It’s my ongoing mission, to keep the flower beds free. A depressing mission really, because it’s a task that’ll never be done. Regardless, and especially on wet days, I persevere.
On this one wet day I received a delightful reward. A toad lily bloom.
A flower in October! Woo Hoo! I knelt beside it to get a closer look. The poor little thing is so tiny & delicate – – but so pretty!
The starter plant wasn’t substantial when I got it from MT of the View Royal Garden Club during a garden tour in July. I’d marked it carefully hoping not to weeded it out by mistake. It had grown a little.
Now there was sign that deer enjoyed it too. Little nibbles showed where more blooms would’ve been. Obviously I hadn’t been as attentive as the deer. Thankfully they’d left this bloom for me to admire.
Happily, the flower has lasted well over a month. I’m looking forward to watching this perennial establish. It’s such a nice part of the autumn garden.
Bambi is an icon of my childhood. As a farm kid, it was common to see deer. They were delightful: so delicate and spritely; a scene from a Disney movie come to life.
Years later, having left the land for a university education & a career, I became a townie. Wildlife in the yard is not expected to be anything more than squirrels, birds, and the occasional dog gone AWOL. After all, I live close enough to the downtown core that it isn’t even the burbs. It’s only a 25-minute cycle to the Inner Harbour of Victoria. But here there are urban deer. Check out who visited on thanksgiving weekend:
In fact, since May, I’ve watched the little one mature through what I’m guessing is its second summer. I’m still enjoying seeing them in the yard, but I’m torn about what they do here.
This time, it’s a buffet of Russian Laurel (now I know why it hasn’t grown 12 feet high by now).
Last month it was the Sedum Autumn Joy (leaving the Aster untouched).
June, July & August these two lived on vegetation; specifically blooming vegetation. Given their druthers, they’re not just vegetarians. They prefer being bloom-etarians.
I could install high, unsightly deer fencing if I were selfish about keeping the flowers to myself and if I didn’t enjoy seeing the wildlife so much. I reckon they’re successful, early adopters of the 100-mile diet. That’s admirable, so I’ve decided to grow enough to share.
That was the plan until recently.
The other evening my neighbors were out for a stroll. They ended up on my doorstep, saying that they’d been ‘herded’ into our yard.
I would adjust my walking plans if I was followed by this fellow, too. Yikes! Maybe the photo doesn’t really do justice, but those antlers sure looked big & sharp in real life.
The 3 point buck stood less than 20 ft away while we talked excitedly on the doorstep.
He wasn’t aggressive, and I was really surprised how long he just stood there watching us. He didn’t move off until the camera had flashed a couple of times & I was within 10-12 feet (feeling a mixture between bravery & stupidity). My heart rate didn’t return to normal for at least an hour. The possibility of danger made me start thinking differently.
Now another part of my childhood comes to mind. Deer were delicious.
In our homesteading community, we depended on wild meat for food. It was a life rich in community, but poor in cash. Pretty much every family was starting from scratch, breaking the land and developing the farm business. We helped each other out and folk did what they needed to do to put a nutritious meal on the table.
I suppose it was also a version of the original 100-mile diet.
When it comes to hunting & butchering, I’ve always been a wimp. Happily, my income is not as tight as my parents’ was when we lived on the farm. I’m ok with spending cash to put food on my table. I know there are folks here in town that aren’t as solvent.
I’m not condoning hunting season in urban areas. Bullets whizzing across the yard or by the bus stop is not a comforting idea. Perhaps some sort of non-wasteful population control? (and which population to control? them or us?) I just don’t know.
With Casanova courting the local ladies, there’s sure to be a new fawn or two next spring to taste test everything that’s on offer in the yard. For now, I’m intent to enjoy the company & do my best to provide a nutritious buffet as a good host should.