The other day when I got home, my son looked a bit worried. “There is a deer in the backyard,” he said, waiting for my reaction.
I am offended by the presence of deer in my yard in principle. It is fully fenced. Also… I LIVE TWO MILES AWAY FROM MANHATTAN. Three turns from my house puts you on the George Washington Bridge. Yes, we’re a little oasis with lovely suburban houses, but we are nestled in the breast of one of the most gargantuan cities in human history. Why do deer still eat my tulips?!?
I went to the backyard and the buck was casually nibbling my grass. I started yelling at him, walking straight toward him. (Apparently he had just gotten up from a nice rest, where my son captured this photo of him JUST CHILLING). He did not stir until I got within about five feet of him. Then he loped lazily off, clearing my four-foot fence (the highest it can be by town ordinance), like an Olympic athlete jumping a high-school level hurdle.
Because we are so densely populated, the deer have no natural predators (except cars – not like I’m plotting against them or anything). They are a total scourge. Not only do they eat everything they find tasty, they also snack on things they don’t particularly like, then spit them out like rude children. One of the reasons I plant iris (besides the fact that they’re gorgeous) is that they are also allegedly deer resistant. And they are. But, first, like someone with a long-standing distaste for peas whose mother says they have to at least give them a chance, they decide to take a nibble just to make sure they still don’t like them. Their nibbles very often involve ripping them straight out of the ground, then leaving them tossed aside like something that makes you say, “Gross.”
I am seriously considering going to the town for a variance to make my fence six feet tall instead of four.