Sunday, May 25, 2008

Scatological Blossoms

Scat on my gravel driveway makes me happy.

Scat (the politically-correct way to refer to animal feces – which also masks the street language version) usually means the bobcat or mountain lion (cougar) is back. These animals seem to like pooping on my driveway to mark their territory.

The wonderful result is the deer vanish. They smell the marked territory.

I have not seen any deer for the past week. Today I found a fresh pile of scat on the edge of the driveway.

The beauty of it is that I get more splendor in my garden.

When I first moved here 23 years ago I planted the rockrose ‘Sunset’(Cistus ‘Sunset’) and enjoyed its hot-pink blossoms. The shrub had to be taken out when the stump next to it was ground up into a pile of wood chips. Then three years ago I planted another one. The deer proceeded to eat every flower bud and kept the plant as a half-sphere of foliage. The foliage is nice, but the flowers are spectacular. This week the plant is covered with its crape paper hot-pink petals. Other plants are blooming unlike years before when the deer ate the blossoms and foliage

When I first moved here I put some of those road reflectors that mark highway lanes down the middle of our gravel driveway. (To prove we weren’t entirely country hicks. Of course the two “lanes” would apply only to motorcycles.) The next morning there was a fresh pile of bobcat scat on top of one of the reflectors. A message saying “Hey I was here first. What right do you have to invade my territory?” Just marking its territory, and scaring off the deer.

This winter I found a perfectly intact, fresh deer skeleton with three points. No bobcat could take down such a large buck. It meant the mountain lion was back.

I walk past the scat on my road each day as I take my speedy, aerobic walk. I wear a red shirt and a purple hat so I don’t look like lunch to a mountain lion. Hope it continues to work.

Please post a comment - I want to know what you think.

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NOTE: The comments section at the bottom of the post has disappeared. Click on the "___ Comments" button or the title under the "Blog Archives". Thanks, Robert

1 comment:

Napa Paul said...

Mountain Lions vs Deer vs Garden..Napa CA

I use several motion-activated water sprinklers ($50) and recently a young dog rescued from Napa Animal Shelter to repel deer from my vegetable garden.
Several times over 2 weeks when the dog first arrived she wakened me and I went outside with her to discover 2-3 deer were lurking near the garden. With little encouragement she chased them away several hundred feet.
The "herd" apparently relocated 500 ft. south and several weeks later a mountain lion ate one of the deer.
Fences...I've resisted thus far because of the expense and inconvenience.
Paul in Napa