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Olduvai III: Catacylsm
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New England Ecology

New England Ecology

(Or Eat the Damn Deer)

Deer droppings

This week the garden finally thawed out. I can see the grass and soil and the lower trunks of trees again for the first time in months. And right along with that, I see enough deer droppings to cover an acre in an inch-thick layer. I know this because the cleared portion of my three and a half acres is just over one acre… and that’s about covered in deer poo. (OK, yes, I’m exaggerating. A little.)

So it is time to have the deer discussion again. This has been a recurring theme in my world ever since we moved to New England and I planted apple saplings as deer food. Or that’s their version of the story. Other unwitting deer buffets include six cherry trees, three walnuts, twelve each of the blueberry and hazelnut saplings that I intended as an edible hedge on the veg patch, several hundred-foot rows of corn, all the peas I ever planted, same for all the sunflowers, two really expensive apothecary roses (though never the rugosas), a whole slew of willow and viburnum, every strawberry that dared show its rosy cheeks to the sun, and possibly several hundred dollars worth of tulip bulbs.

Meanwhile, the deer diners have left tips in the form of small, blood-sucking parasites that gave my aging dog Lyme disease and hastened her demise. They also latched on to my body frequently enough to merit several trips to the doctor to be tested. (Four negative, one “probably but can’t confirm” because the little buggers go dormant. They may still be in there, causing periodic mayhem.)…

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Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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