Thursday, September 29, 2011

Battling rutting deer...

The deer are slowly destroying our little orchard this fall. Bucks shed their antlers in the fall and grow new ones. The new antlers are covered with fuzz that bothers them. They like to rub off the fuzz on little cute carefully planted saplings... not that there is a whole bunch of wild trees all over the place around the farm.
Actually, the above is all stuff that I suppose is happening. I am sure wildlife experts could school me on what is really going on.
Never the less, I am guessing that eight of the trees won't be back in the spring.
So what to do? I went to the farm store and bought two different kinds of deer repellant. One is granules that you sprinkle around the perimeter of the plant. The other is a spray you apply directly to the vegetation. As I applied these deterrents, I quickly realized their purpose is to make the plants smell bad.
The granules weren't too bad, but only treated about a third of the trees. The nozzle on the spray bottle didn't work. It turned out to be clogged. I didn't figure this out until AFTER I managed to get the stuff on my hands.
Even though the day was dry and windless, it seemed that no matter where I stood while I applied the spray, I was downwind of the spray. By the end of the application I smelled pretty gross. I hope the deer think the trees smell gross as well and leave them alone. I am not sure this will work after observing the dog licking the repellant off of the trunks of the trees.
I am buying some tar and am going to try patching some of them next week.

The soybeans are beginning to turn. They are so pretty right now.

The good stuff shed is empty this week.

This is the tree I am most sad about. It is a service berry tree that we got at the rare plant sale at Ohio State. It was so huge that it barely fit in the truck and Ralph couldn't drive faster than 35mph to get it home. I am going to apply some patch to it, but Ralph thinks it is a goner. Ralph also had a few choice names for the deer and is rethinking his personal stance on hunting. He just wished deer tasted better. Oh well.

I am still trying to scrub the liquid fence off of my hands. When I asked the clerk at the farm store if this stuff worked, she just laughed and laughed.

I wonder how crooked the utility poles have to get before we can get them fixed.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Autumn is on the way...

Technically we still have a week of summer left. However, it feels like late October today. The wind has come back and everything is growing like crazy. It seems like the hot, dry weather is over and all of the plants are trying to grow as much as possible before the frost. I am in awe of how well everything grows out here.
That being said, we lost one of our fruit trees. It looks like a horrible murder scene. I am guessing a buck came along and rubbed his antlers on it. Whatever happened, the poor little tree never stood a chance. It's branches and support were scattered all over and it's stump was cut off about a foot above the ground. So far this tree is the only victim. When I go back next week to mow, I am bringing deer repellant.
Here are a few shots of this gorgeous day.