It was 3:45 AM, the air was cool, crisp and I actually wore a jacket. Hard to believe it was late July and so delightfully comfortable. Mighty Dog's elderly bladder had us out and about in the early morning darkness per usual. He normally runs free at this time of morning under my watchful eye but this time he was on the end of the leash due to his second eye surgery. The moon was full so a flashlight wasn't necessary. I walked behind him enjoying the perfect night.
Then I heard a sound that made my heart stop for a second then race wildly as I went from cool to cold to positively prickly. Now my neighbor has cows and a pair of horses that enjoy the pasture behind me. I have been around cows and horses a good portion of my life and this was no cow sound and certainly not a horse sound. It was quite loud, hissing, repeated several times and was moving. Luckily Mighty is hard of hearing so I didn't have to deal with him wanting to investigate.
I quickly put Mighty back in the house then I did what I has made me mentally screamed "NOOO, you can't possibly be that stupid," while watching a scary movie--- I went to investigate. But unlike the hapless heroine in the movies, I went armed. I have a varmint rifle that too often misfires so I took my pistol plus a can of pepper spray tucked in my jammies waist band. I wasn't aiming to kill but to frighten off if necessary.
There have been bear sightings in my area and I really hoped it wasn't a bear. I have a fear of them like I do sharks. I actually had no idea what was out there. Maybe not of this world?? The dark can really work on a person's imagination.
I stood on my porch (see, I am not totally stupid) and flashed a powerful flashlight around the property. There was nothing there. Unlike the hapless heroine, I didn't go into the bowels of the property to the overgrown fence line to investigate. I was content that what ever it was had either climbed back over my fence or been sucked back up into the mother ship and left.
I really thought no more about it and a day passed. I was busy dealing with destructive fruit flies and vanishing fruit from my peach and plum trees. My peach crop this year was literally rotting on the tree from fruit fly larva or just gone. Last year my crop had been so bountiful that I was able to supply 3 families with buckets of delicious fruit, plus have a freezer full my self.
Then when I was mowing I came across this.
|Not my picture. From Google images.|
Later when I looked the poop up on the computer, all my mysteries were solved. I had enjoyed a deer visit. That was deer poop, the noise I heard was a deer alarm, and my missing fruit were fattening up some beautiful creature. Gosh I love the Internet with its wealth of information, pictures and sounds. I am just sorry however that I didn't get to see him or her.
At least the deer ignored my flowers, cantaloupe, butternut squash and sweet potatoes though it did dead head and thin one of my strawberry patches which actually needed it.
I didn't realize deer would jump my fence, especially with dog smells around. If I had known, I would probably have planted some deer favorites. I think they are so beautiful. Most of my plantings are deer resistant but only as a side effect by first being vole resistant. Maybe next year----.
I would gladly plant deer friendly food in order to enjoy such beautiful lawn ornaments. However next year, I may fence off that peach tree, he can have the plums. I am freezer deep in plum catsup which is really good by the way.
Do you dread, welcome or wish you had visiting deer?