As the Deer Pants

Garden in the Woods

After the potting of Big Beef last week, J and I determined that if we kept the pots here in this sunny patch next to the basketball goal and car, the deer would stay away.  I put hair on them and hoped the smell of that and presence of the car would deter them.  Not so.  As you can see there is a deep, dark, evil forest lurking just beyond the perimeter of our yard.  From hence the vicious beasts emerged.

Walk of shame

Even though I refused to plant them in the front bed, which J has told me numerous times is the best place, Saturday, I moved all the pots up by the house in the hope that being so close to the house would help.  Of course, now the front of the house looks ridiculous and cluttered with pots.  Plus J has been singing the “I told you so song” and I have been eating crow.

Now only one Sweet Cherry on this formerly full vine.

Then on Sunday morning, we awoke to find the pots had been decimated by snacky deer. Despite being right by the house and having the porch light on, the lower vines had been striped of leaves and baby tomatoes.  Not only that, the big FAT huge deer was sleeping right off the grassy area in our FRONT yard.  We woke him up and I shouted at him and he just stared at me as though I was interrupting his post breakfast snooze. GRRRR!

In desperation, I turned to Google, the source of all knowledge where I gleaned the following tips, which I immediately applied.

  1. Put human smelling items around the plant, like sweaty shirts.
  2. Spray a peppery egg mixture around the plant.
  3. Hang soap around the plant.
  4. Put hair around the plant.
  5. Put pee at base of pant. (Planning to do this as soon as Dyl goes in mini-potty.)
  6. Spread eggshells around base of plant.

The disheartening information was that not only do you need to reapply all these techniques after each rain, but that any one of them will only work for a limited time because deer are so persistent, especially in a drought.  You have to keep trying new ways to keep them away and basically, the only foolproof technique is to put up an electric fence. (Or shoot the durn things.)

Nibbled off in the prime of life.

Well, dang it, it is not a drought.  We’ve had lots of rain and I think these deer are just getting fat and happy on my tomatoes.  I’m pretty sure he had his evil little hoof on my front porch step.  That is pretty brazen! Those deer really want those tomatoes. They are going to do anything to get them–even getting close to danger–even taking a risk.  They are finding a way.

You may have noticed that this post is in “The Hub” which means that I will be making some analogous connection to my spiritual life (and yours?).  And you might be surprised to find that even though I believe in my heart of hearts that deer are Satan’s spawn, in this particular post, instead of being the tomato like I was in the last post, I am the deer.

Or I should be.

When Google was telling me all about how tenacious and persistent the deer are, I couldn’t help but thinking of a few passages that I recall.

Psalm 42:1

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?

and

Psalm 63

1 O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.


Maybe I am too fat and lazy sometimes to really hunger and thirst in my soul for the Lord.  It is easy for me to offer up excuses like “kids,” “husband,” “housework,” or “my blog”.  Why am I so easily deterred from finding a way to get the spiritual nourishment that He so readily provides?  Why am I not more persistent, looking for new ways to feed my soul when my old techniques don’t work anymore?  Why can’t I retain the knowledge, after many years of knowing the Lord that

Psalm 62

1 My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.

So as much as it PAINS me to say this, at least from a spiritual standpoint, I am am going to endeavor to be a bit more like the deer seeking after my tomatoes, persistent, undeterred, and unsatisfied by those things that don’t truly satisfy my soul.

Isaiah 58:11

11 The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.


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8 Responses to As the Deer Pants

  1. Alisha N June 14, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    Katrina, I am so glad you are writing these “Hub” posts – they are so thoughtful, and encouraging. I love seeing what I hear in church being put in action.
    That is an excellent connection between the deer and the Bible verses! Thank you.
    Blessings,
    Alisha :-)

  2. FranceyMama June 14, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    shoot the deer then put them in your freezer and save even more money!

  3. Lisa June 14, 2010 at 3:32 pm #

    “Not only that, the big FAT huge deer was sleeping right off the grassy area in our FRONT yard.” Hyperbole?? You can’t be serious.

    I agree with Alisha’s comment; I know you are so frustrated, but you are trying to make sense of it all and that is truly encouraging.

    • Katrina Ryder June 14, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

      Lisa, I am serious! He was in the front yard. J and I were standing on the front sidewalk staring right at him. Thanks for the encouragement. :)

  4. Megan June 16, 2010 at 8:01 am #

    Do the deer seem to mostly cause trouble at night? Maybe you could move the pot into the screened in porch at night. I’m sure it’s not easy to have to move it around, and will probably get harder as it gets bigger. Thankfully we don’t have deer to worry about where we live. Squirrels, chipmunks, tons of rabbits, birds, bugs…that’s pretty much it. Thankfully the fence we have around the garden keeps the rabbits out and nothing else caused too much trouble for us last year.

  5. Liz Mshar June 16, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    Next year maybe you should try the hanging tomato plant idea. We have had some luck with it so far. I have seen the deer out by us even at 5 pm…daylight hours. The heat must be making them crazy!!

  6. Kate King July 6, 2011 at 6:03 am #

    I think you should train Dylan to pee around the tomato plants on a daily basis. Would that shock the neighbours? I’ll never forget the moment when Simeon, freshly arrived from free and easy PNG, pulled down his pants and peed in my mother’s decorative plant pots flanking the front door. Fine in PNG, definitely not fine in middle England!

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