Lions and tigers and deer, oh my!
I had a difficult time getting all my work done at the Faribault County Register this week.
Well, to be truthful, I have a difficult time every week. That is what happens when you get old and slow. But it was worse this past week.
Everywhere I went, all people wanted to do was talk to me about deer.
I guess my column of last week struck a nerve. Even an unintended one, as you can see by the letter to the editor elsewhere on this page.
But, most folks just wanted to share their own personal tales of the deer in Blue Earth. I guess I am far from being the only victim of deer grazing in my yard.
Many people said they have lived here all their lives and have never seen it this bad. One said she lived on a farm near Walters for years and hardly ever saw a deer and never had one eat the plants in her yard. Then she moved into the city of Blue Earth and they are going through her yard every night.
Several showed me photos of the deer, some of which were happily bedded down in their yard, or staring at them through their windows. Another person sent me pictures of the deer happily grazing on the flowers in the many planters at Riverside Cemetery. I am sure the deer thought it was a buffet set up just for them.
People say the deer just look at them when they try and shoo them out of their yards. They seem to be pretty brave and bold and basically, well, nonchalant.
Some folks offered solutions. The Deer-Be-Gone product was one, but it needs to be repeated often, especially after rain. And, we have been getting a lot of rain this summer. Another said she spreads laundry detergent around her flowers and gardens. One ties Bounce Fabric Softener sheets around the small branches of his apple trees to keep the deer from eating the apples. I actually have a bigger problem with squirrels picking a young apple, taking two bites out of it and throwing it on the ground. I guess maybe they aren’t ripe enough for the squirrels taste yet.
Yet another person has a solar powered electric fence around his garden and that has effectively kept the deer from munching on his vegetables. Several folks on the Giant Days Garden Tour learned first hand about that electric fence. Ouch!
I guess I could get one and put it around my whole house, as we have flowers everywhere. Or should I say, we used to have flowers everywhere. Some have escaped those hungry animals, but many are gone.
One person even offered a home brew recipe to use to spray for mosquitoes, since I whined about those pests in the column last week, as well.
She said it was in case I didn’t want to use those nasty chemical sprays. I suppose you might be curious what it is. You take three stale beers, 32 ounces of blue mouthwash and three cups of Epsom salts. It makes a gallon and you spray it around your yard with a pump sprayer.
I guess it kills the mosquitoes quite well, and they also die happy and with clean breath.
I do have to admit that with the city and myself both spraying for mosquitoes, they have subsided in my yard quite a bit. However, the gnats and the biting flies have taken their place. You can’t win.
The City Council may have also taken notice of my column from last week. At the very end of their meeting last Monday night they once again brought up the deer issue. While some council members think the city should take some type of action, like an in-city deer hunt, others think there really isn’t much they can do that would be effective. Except, perhaps, getting the DNR to issue more deer permits in our local area.
I sure don’t know the solution. I guess a solar-powered electric fence around the whole town is probably not reasonable.
Besides having too many deer, now the council is discussing another issue. Too many cats. Wild cats, that is, roaming around the town, living in sheds and old garages and the city sewers.
The city has purchased some live traps which citizens can borrow and use to trap the cats. I am not sure what one does with them after they are trapped, but I have a guess.
Deer, cats and mosquitoes. Oh my. And squirrels, rabbits and an occasional possum or woodchuck which have wandered into my yard, as well.
It is like living at the zoo, sometimes. Or out in the northern woods. At least we don’t have any bears. Or do we?
I know, I know. Animals have rights, too. I?just don’t want them using my backyard as their personal food trough.
As Doris Day once said, “Please don’t eat the daisies!”