Snakes and Deer

We have a deer problem here in central North Carolina.  There is a large field adjacent to our neighborhood in which there is a pond.  The deer travel from the field, through the woods behind our neighborhood and hang out in the strip of woods directly behind my house.  They travel the path of the drainage easement down the side of our yard, and spend quality time at our neighbors houses, too, before crossing the street and heading back around to the field from whence they originally came.  It’s a nice little setup for them.

I am forced to keep my vulnerable plants covered in bird netting, the only thing that has successfully kept them away.  Unfortunately, bird netting has its drawbacks.

Specifically, snakes occasionally get badly tangled in deer netting, especially when they’re trying to reach the water in the bird bath above, and then they die a horrible death in a tangled ball of plastic, and stink up your yard.

I like snakes for the most part.  They have their benefits.  So I felt bad when this happened recently.  I felt just as bad about my caladiums that the deer netting was protecting.  The deer apparently didn’t mind the smell of dead snake. They were simply delighted that the netting was gone and they could get to the caladium.  So I had a bed of caladium stalks, a ball of netting and a dead snake.

Disgusted by this turn of events, I threw the dead snake and netting into the woods to deal with later.   Later was two days on, when the dog found the dead snake and rolled around in it’s deadness with great gusto, simultaneously coming to the realization that his underground dog fence has not been working for the last month or so.   Nothing like a dead animal to entice a dog to brave minor electrocution.

So now, I had a bed of caladium stalks, a ball of netting, a dead snake, and a smelly dog.  The upside – I finally had the motivation to give the dog a sorely needed bath, and my husband finally cleaned up some of the debris pile that had begun to accumulate too much at the edge of the yard.  The dog fence got fixed.  It wasn’t a total loss.  Here’s hoping the deer stay away, since there are no more caladium to eat. And the dog stops rolling in dead, decaying things.   But I’m not optimistic.



Categories: Piedmont Gardener

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