Of pumpkins, deer, and other 'natural' garden elements
Saw first deer of the season on our property earlier this week -- three white-tails bounding away early one morning, leaping through our waist-high meadow. My first thought was the seven blueberry bushes lining the edge of the yard near the meadow (I've been told they'll eat the bare canes, though usually in the dead of winter). So I checked them all, fingers crossed. No munching...checked every day since, just in case. Nothing. Then I checked the zucchini, growing in the compost pile at the edge of the meadow (and yes, I confess. I checked that HOPEFULLY, thinking that with any luck, those last zucchini would be history. But they're still there, too, although the leaves have been lopped off, which seems odd as they're quite prickly and "hairy" -- things I thought deer disliked? ...)
Then today, I found this at the edge of the meadow:
... which I am GUESSING is deer damage? Anyone know? Those are clearly teeth marks (kind of big teeth at that). Anything else that MIGHT have done that to my struggling-to-ripen-by-Halloween Howden pumpkin?? The other pumpkins look okay (so far). And why would they eat the pumpkin when there was lovely Italian zucchini (MUCH easier to chew) a few feet away???! I had no idea deer would eat pumpkins!
The same day as this discovery, as we're raking leaves off walkways and trying to deal with the sticky, goey mass of pine cones that came down during all that wind earlier this week, my dog starts barking madly up a tree. Seriously. Barking up a tree :) So we look up, and here's what's got her all excited:
So after convincing her it was NOT her long-lost Orbee football (not an easy task), we started wondering what to do about it .. or do we do nothing? It is near the roofline but well off the ground. Will these guys just die off over the winter? Should we try to get it down? If so, how? How cold does it have to get before this is a safe task? I've read that the nests will just disintegrate over the winter, which would obviously be much easier... any advice?
Not really a "gardening" question... but close enough. It's OVER a garden! ;)