Black Thumb.

In an entirely unwarranted fit of optimism, I planted some stuff this year.

You must know that I have killed every plant I’ve ever tried to own. My mom is a master gardner.

I’m not.

But hey, some of my best friends have green thumbs, I can respect that.

We don’t have much flat ground at our house to begin with, and even less that gets any sunlight. I had my eye on a space behind the shed, thinking that since we lost so many trees there would be enough sunlight to plant pumpkins there– because how cool would that be? Having our own pumpkins to carve at Halloween and all. Then all the leaves on the remaining trees came in, blocked out the sun, and it was not to be.

So I picked another spot, and I planted, from seed: peas, arugula, spinach, and mesclun lettuce. I transplanted hostas in order to make this happen. The hostas survived, surprising me, CC and themselves. I believed that in our terraced “back yard” the particular terrace that I had cleared and planted in was inaccessible to the few millions of deer in our neighborhood.

Turns out this was an erroneous belief.

The deer loved my peas, spinach, and mesclun lettuce. They had no love for the arugula. They also refuse to eat dandelions, which are currently the only thing truly thriving in my garden. I wish I ate dandelions, or at least could find someone to sell them to, cause you pay like twenty bucks in New York for a frickin’ dandelion salad. Because, you know, they’re like, microgreens.

I don’t eat dandelion anything because my sister made me suck the milk out of a dandelion stem one time while our mother was picking strawberries and not properly supervising us. I can’t remember if this was before or after I tried to kill her by slipping the paperclip into her milk (My sister’s milk, not my mother’s. My mother doesn’t drink milk. And I would never attempt physical harm against the Bringer of Strawberries.)

From the dietary preferences of the deer, I draw the conclusion that deer are nothing but sugar-sucking whores who won’t touch anything that is bitter (it was baby spinach).

I watched a deer the other night while I was walking Casey. Casey was doing her I-really-have-to-go-but-I-can’t-until-I-find-the-exact-right-place-because-I-am-a-girl-dog-and-also-neurotic dance and did not notice the deer standing ten feet from her. Hell, I could smell the deer from there. She’d been eating my roses, then went across the street to have some of their roses, and then continued on with her moveable feast to each house in order,  sampling all the flowers.

Then she tired of that and crossed back into my yard. The steep rake and the rocky incline didn’t bother her at all. It was at this moment that I discovered the extent to which my property is the main drag that the deer take between the cemetery and the neighborhood behind us. It is both their freeway and their promenade. And, apparently, their personal snack basket.

Sometimes they also drop a baby back there.

I wish we’d gotten more pictures of this guy before it stumbled back off to its hiding place. This little one was maybe two days old, probably less. Very shaky. It was about Casey’s size, just with longer legs. Pretty damn adorable. . . for a sugar-sucking whore.

Thanks for eating my peas, Bambi.


15 thoughts on “Black Thumb.

  1. I would seriously get a friend with a gun who liked hunting deer — when we lived in Swarthmore, the deer would walk into your yard and snack on everything they could — then give you Lyme’s disease. Literally, everybody who lives in Swat has had Lyme’s disease at least once – and it’s really serious. But would anybody run them off?? Oh, no … so not cool. So violent. Hmmmm — baby lettuce is sacrosanct. They asked for it …. Your peacenik buddy, xooxox b

    1. It’s kind of maddening actually that it’s totally illegal. I could feed my family like, forever, with the amount of deer meat that is taunting us. We have the means readily at hand. I’m just not willing to go to jail for Bambi.

  2. “I wish I ate dandelions, or at least could find someone to sell them to, cause you pay like twenty bucks in New York for a frickin’ dandelion salad. Because, you know, they’re like, microgreens.”

    I love that line. It made me laugh. Sorry about the peas. They make strong deer. By the way, I will respond to your hilarious email, but I’m still laughing!

  3. Don’t beat yourself up too much … It’s been a horrible growing season in the North East anyhow. You name it; too much rain, too much wind, too much frickin’ hail. I’ll be lucky if I get anything out of mine. You know the scene in Jaws where Chief Brody says, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat!”? Well, you’re gonna need a bigger dog! Sorry Pugmutts, deer aren’t afraid of ankle biters that leave a scent trail the size of hamsters. Try this: Cut the legs off some pantyhose (remember that stuff?). Drop a bar of soap in the leg (or an almost used-up bar) tie it with a knot, then tie that to a stake or to … or ten near your remaining plants. It might work and it might not, but when it rains at least your back yard will smell nice and fresh and clean!

    1. I have a pair of incredibly ineffective dogs. Thanks for the soap-in-the-pantyhose tip. I’ll give that a shot. I will have to buy the pantyhose though.

  4. Ha ha! They are such cute, sugar-eating whores. I applaud your tenacity. I can send Peppermeister over any time if you want to put him to work. (And I’m with Renee, the line about the microgreens is GREAT!)

    The paperclip in your sister’s milk is deliciously evil.

    My grandfather supposedly made dandelion wine. Babs claims it was awful, but, I say if you’re going to do anything with dandelions…

  5. At least they’re not dingos. Just sayin’. (Bummer about the veggies and roses, though – seriously. Just when you’d managed to get something green to live and thrive…)

  6. I commend you for at least trying to grow a garden! ((clap clap))

    I say just put some deer heads on stakes around the garden, ya know, like scarecrows for deer. Or Lord of the Flies. They’ll get the hint and move on. Also, venison is good. Have the hub build a GIANT mouse trap and bait it with…well, your garden, I suppose. SNAP! Venison steak n’ eggs for breakfast.

    Actually I love deer, but don’t have any around here to eat my greens. And you can eat those dandelions when young, plus make tea from their roots. I’ve done it – spose to be good for the liver, or sumthin’. Good luck.

    1. I was so hoping you would come by and give me some advice. I would be more than happy to stake some deer heads. How is it that you have no deer? Oh, right, because they’re all in my neighborhood. Dammit.

      1. It’s just too populated here, I guess. Though about 5 years ago, I did see the first deer ever to wander into these parts. I was boating out on my creek, and he was drinking at the waters edge, along the wooded banks. For me, it was a glorious sight. But he wasn’t in my garden eating up my salad fixin’s, either.

        Maybe you can find one of those mounted deer heads at a yard sale? heh heh

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