Monday, July 14, 2008

Kudos Delivered

I've promised this one for awhile. My husband gets lots and lots of kudos for this one.

As you may recall, we redid our landscaping recently. As the plants got used to their new homes, they started to bloom, and they looked lovely. One of my favorites is always my daylillies.
One day, I went out to admire my flowers and noticed that they were missing big chunks. This is not the first time this has happened to me. In fact, the lovely Dutch people who owned our house before us had planted the most gorgeous Dutch tulips that I really enjoy seeing blossom.

Last spring, they bloomed. I really enjoyed admiring them. One morning when I came out of the house, I discovered that they were gone. In fact, it looked as though someone had taken a golf club and used them for tee practice. I was mildly upset. This was also during the time when neighboring kids were ding dong ditching us (gotta love being a teacher living in the district where you teach) late at night and waking up the wee ones.

I was frustrated enough, in fact, to file a complaint with the local police department about the dual golf club and ding dong ditching nuisances. They completely understood and had gotten other ding dong ditch complaints from our neighborhood and promised to increase patrols. (Shortly thereafter, an elderly neighbor on the other side of the neighborhood collared them and held them until the police arrived where their parents had to pick them up. Not so many problems with ding dong ditching after that, oddly.)

The next day, I was talking to my next door neighbor about something, and the neighbor mentioned how bad the deer were this year. In fact, the deer had eaten clean down to the roots of some plants. How they particularly enjoyed tulips. I mumbled some response and later slunk home.

Little did I know that I was simply providing a buffet for the deer that live in the conservancy behind my house.

When we redid our landscaping this year, I was smart (or so I thought). I specifically requested plants that deer didn't like to eat. After the guy finished laughing at me, he was able to recommend plants that were native to the area (thus needing little to no watering after establishing themselves) and also not the first choice of deer as they peruse their buffet.

Of course, the day after my daylillies bloomed, I came outside to see an image similar to this:

Yeah. That's right. Deer in MY garden eating MY daylilies (and roses) again. Over the next few days, they got so bold as to actually leave footprints behind so I could see what their favorites were and follow the path as they perused and grazed the lucious buffet I had put out specifically for them, apparently.

As my ire grew, my husband grew afraid. Very afraid.

Smart man that he is, he began searching the Internet for appropriate deer abatement. We discovered many deer myths and fallacies, many of which were entertaining and, alternately, digusting. There was no way I was hanging coyote urine in my back yard.

Eventually, my husband discovered a potential solution.

It looks ugly, doesn't it? And what on earth could it be? Why, it's a scarecrow of course! It isn't your typical scarecrow, granted. This one is effective.

It's a motion sensitive sprinkler. You set the timer and something gets within 35 feet of its 105 degree range, and it gets sprayed. Hard. It wasn't the cheapest solution, but it had pretty good reviews online, so we ordered it.

As soon as it arrived, we installed it in the back. It makes my night as I'm sitting in the family room and I hear the familiar PFFFSSSST! that means something came just a little bit too close to my precious flowers.

My dreams have changed. I no longer dream about this:

Instead, my dreams focus more on this:

Except that, really, the Scarecrow doesn't let the deer get nearly that close. And my husband tells me that I'm sometimes smiling in my sleep.


And not to end this on a bummer, but if you have a moment, pray for my friend D -- her father passed away this morning after a long illness and months going in and out of the hospital. While he is at peace, it's never easy to lose someone you love, and she's taking this particularly hard.


Angela July 14, 2008 at 9:39 PM  

Ohmygosh - I am LOVING this idea. I would love to plant a small garden, just to grow a few things, but we have so many country critters around here (bunnies, frogs, deer, chipmunks, and other assorted wildlife) that I have been hesitant. Case in point: We just put in the pool, right? And at the top of our new "staircase" going down from the yard to the pool is a HUGE hole that SOMETHING keeps digging. It started out as a hole. Then it became a crater. Now the only possible way to describe it is DITCH. Sheesh! I wonder if we could use something like this to keep the critters out of a garden. Hmmmmm....

Debbie July 14, 2008 at 9:45 PM  

Ah yes, the deer. They have been the culprit of many of my plants demise. Dern them! I love scarecrow sprinkler guy...that is brilliant.

Anonymous July 14, 2008 at 10:46 PM  

You remind me of my hubby--he would take much greater pleasure in giving the deer an unwanted bath than actually saving the flowers. In fact, I think he just enjoys tormenting animals, period. He used to terrorize my first dog by flying airplanes on her and bombing her with dirty undies from his loft.

Which, in retrospect, is probably why his Rottie's favorite pastime is growling.

Kellan July 14, 2008 at 10:48 PM  

That's a great devise! We don't have trouble with deer at my house, but many of my friend do and I am going to have to tell them about this gadget!!

See you soon- Kellan

CP July 15, 2008 at 12:51 AM  

My parents live where there are a lot of deer and the sprinkler has saved my mom's garnen year after year. And my kids love to set it off!

Just popped by to let you know we're running the next pay it forward contest over at 3giraffes and I'm hoping you'll come back and enter again!

MaBunny July 15, 2008 at 8:55 AM  

Love it! I too love lillies, but the Alstromeria variety. Yours are very pretty and love the new'scarecrow'.

I willl say a prayer for D - I know what its like to lose your father after being in and out of the hospital tons of times before he found peace.

Michelle July 15, 2008 at 7:45 PM  

Angela - I actually am protecting a garden in addition to the landscaping. With the scope of the spray, I can protect both with one Scare Crow. It's less than 24" off the ground, so I'm pretty sure it's getting the bunnies, etc., too. No comment on the hole for you. Total bummer, as the pool and surrounding area looks gorgeous. I was ready to move in!

Debbie - The scarecrow sprinkler is way cool. It's gone off three times in the last hour, but I've yet to be quick enough to see what it's spraying.

Houndrat - Welcome! The only reason I'm taking pleasure in squirting the deer is because of the grief they've caused me to date with the tulips and daylilies (and crocus). Your poor dogs....

Kellan - I didn't need to know that you had no deer issues. That's quite simply not fair!

cp - Kids are definitely entertained with the Scare Crow. When we were showing my parents how it works, the wee ones kept running into it to set it off and get wet. In their church clothes. Fortunately, we have ours on a timer that only goes off after the wee ones are in bed!

MaBunny - Thanks for the prayers for D. We've known this is coming for awhile, and her dad at one point even said he just wanted to go, but he kept fighting... and it's so hard to lose a parent.

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