You Shall Be My Pumpkins

deerlargeLast night I tromped down the hill with a hammer, six wooden stakes, and a spool of fishing line to do battle with deer. But it's not what you think. As far as I know there are no vampire deer in the neighborhood. No, our deer are the usual docile, graceful, and enormously frustrating sort. Frustrating because I'm a wannabe gardener, and they seem to think I'm doing all this work for them.

I planted a pumpkin patch down in the lower part of the yard, just past the young willow tree. I've never had much luck with pumpkins, so this year I went all-out. My kind neighbor brought his tractor down the hill and turned the ground, revealing darker soil than further up where I plant my corn. When it rains a lot (well, when it used to rain a lot) I can't even mow this spot for fear of getting stuck in all that soggy grass -- which is why I planted the thirsty willow tree there last year. I'm guessing all that moisture and runoff has been feeding this little section of the yard for a hundred years. Now, by golly, that soil was going to feed my pumpkins.

I bought a hundred feet of water hose and ran it all the way to the patch, raised six mounds of dirt, ringed them each with a little moat, and planted three seeds per mound. After a week or two of watering, the seedlings broke through the soil, and there was much rejoicing at the Warren. That was weeks ago, and now the pumpkin vines have all but exploded with leaves as big as platters, bright yellow flowers, and twenty-foot vines. It's a bona fide pumpkin patch.

And that's when the rabbits came. Then the deer.

[Read the rest of this post at The Rabbit Room.]