A few years ago when I lived in Alaska, many conversations included the lamenting of moose, moose were everywhere. Moose in the yard, moose in the garbage, moose at the front door and moose in the garden. So often the basis of that conversation circled around keeping the moose out of the garden and away from all the precious plants, or just plain out. Most of these people were what we called "outsiders", most of them were relatively new to the area so after building their new home (more builders than buyers) and spending umpteen hundreds or thousands of dollars on landscaping they began to discover that all of their hard work and creativity simply attracted the huge omnivores. Many were the times when "momma" would run outside with a broom and a blanket, screaming and yelling and waving like a crazed banshee when she spied an eight foot tall moose eating one of her prized raspberry bushes or precious flowers. After awhile, many of these had-been nature lovers turned into livid wildlife haters. I used to think it was rather odd to hear the venom in these otherwise calm humans when it came to discussing ways to rid the neighborhoods of these really beautiful creatures. How is it that we can move into anothers' habitat, encroach upon THEIR home and range and WE complain about THEM? Yes, I used to think that way until......I moved onto a nice little wooded acre in a rural area that is and always has been in the middle of a natural corridor for...deer. Oh you know, Bambi's family! How graceful they are, how wonderful it is to view wildlife in your own front yard. Until...they ate my very first rose bush. Oh my gosh, the first time I cussed out a quadrapod-lawnmower, I saw myself as one of those banshee mamas running out in my bathrobe at 6:00 a.m. with whatever I could grab ahold of; broom, couch pillow, husband's hardhat, to throw at those 'lovely creatures'. Wow...I am one of THEM, I thought. I need to find a way to better handle this, to live side-by-side with my friends in the field and still have some of those other human enjoyments.
Over this past summer I have attempted several different methods of warfare which included garlic pinecone 'bombs', hanging human hair out in nets, wire fencing and ultimately covering certain bushes with anything I could find. I learned quickly that I could only cover so many plants and after a few days my garlic bombs had lost their effect and making them was just as distasteful and stinky to me as it was to my intended combatants, especially after it rained.
I am learning to live with my furry friends and even re-appreciate their visits to my acreage. I have also learned to plant things that grow naturally around here in my new Oregon home, many items that grow aplenty and quite a few that the deer don't bother. I am finding my harmony and enjoying both worlds.
Now...if I could just figure out how to get the squirrels to stop debarking all the trees....