by Paige Puckett—
Yesterday I was sitting at my potter’s wheel in the garage, when two deer in our neighbor’s yard caught our eyes. The young deer had ventured in to the fenced yard on the right, and as we approached them, they realized they were trapped and took turns prancing towards us and then turning back. About this time, we saw there were two other deer in the yard to the left, which backs up to a wooded stream buffer. We didn’t see a buck, but neighbors have spotted him several times.
Several weeks ago I planted two painted lady hibiscus, which over the course of last week were mowed down by what I thought was one pesky doe who was even brave enough to peek in our front window earlier in the summer. And as my son and I stood in the middle of the street in our pajamas looking at a family of four, I knew why Mrs. Doe had been eating so much – beans, sweet potatoes, blackberry, squash and tomato leaves. She had brought her entire family to the table.
I asked my son to grab the camera out of the kitchen so I could keep them corralled. He came back with toy binoculars, so I sprinted to the kitchen to find the camera. As I rejoined him outside, the two fawns in the partially fenced yard were about to cross over to their family, so at a full sprint I charged down the driveway hoping to chase them back and snag a glorious up-close photo.
No good. They dashed to the left right as that neighbor was stepping off her front steps towards her car. She gave out a little shriek as they lept nearly three feet from her face and she looked up to see me with crazed hair and pajamas running towards her. I swear if I’d have seen her, I would have warned her. After she caught her breath we had a good laugh.
I had hoped my buddy Eric who excels in bow and arrow could camp out on our back deck and solve our deer problem, but living in an urban neighborhood there was no telling where the doe would fall and he’d need permission from the neighbors. Well, now that there are babies, these deer have become like pets. Yes, the neighbors get to enjoy their presence, and I feed them.
Paige Puckett and her husband Joe, both in Land and Water Engineering fields, grew up with hands-on experience helping parents and grandparents in vegetable gardens and creating wild adventures in their expansive backyards and nearby creeks at their respective country homes in Tennessee and North Carolina. Now that they have two boys of their own, they try to engage them in the outdoors despite the obvious confines of downtown living in Raleigh, NC. Paige shares their lessons learned, garden projects and photos at her Love Sown blog.