Photo Courtesy of Scott Kirk Photography

Sunday, October 10, 2010


For those of you who live in small town eastern Washington, you may have made the statement, "Those darn deer" at least once in your life.  They eat our flowers, our vegetables, and any other type of vegetation they can get to.  Even though they take from our yards, they also are kind and leave something in return--deer pellets.  They roam the streets and highways of our counties, causing damage to our cars and to our psyches as we drive home in the evening.  Oh, those darn deer!
     Since July 5th I have been saying, "Oh, those darn deer" because they keep feasting on the flowers I have on Andrew's grave.  At first, they left the petunias alone.  However, once they became full and beautiful, the deer discovered them.  At first, I really didn't notice a difference, but suddenly one day, I noticed.  They had mowed the petunias to the dirt in the planter.  So, I planted new items into the pots.  They were lovely.  The contrasting chartreuse and dark green of the sweet potato vine.  The red and gold of verbina.  The lovely white of sweet alyssum.  Those plantings made the pots look summery and alive.  The deer thought so too.  The first day I noticed something was amiss, it was just a little trimming.  The next day, I saw that there had been a stripping of the vines.  They had even taken the alyssum out and thrown them to the grown.  Oh, those darn deer!
     Bill was determined that those deer would not get the best of us, so we invested in some dry "deer off" and some spray "deer off."  As long as we kept tending to the flowers with our spray and powder, the flowers were thriving.  But just one time of being lax with the spray and once again one could hear me say, "Oh, those darn deer!"
     Yesterday, when we went up to water the flowers, everything looked great.  The dry powder must either be a type of fertilizer or it is so effective that they deer don't even graze on the grass where it has been sprinkled.  So the grass and the flowers around Andrew's grave are thriving. 
     One time, when I was ranting about the deer, my mother told me I shouldn't try to keep the deer away from Andrew's grave.  She reminded me just how much he loved them.  The deer must sense that, because even with all the deterients that we have been using, the deer still haven't left Andrew's grave--they are just staying outside the perimeter.  Not only do we see evidence via deer pellets, Bill showed me where they have been bedding down at night--just to the east of Andrew.  They are sleeping under the trees, watching over my boy.
     Soon Mother Nature will take care of my flowers with her first frost of the season, so I won't have to worry about the deer eating Andrew's flowers.  However, I have a certain sense of peace knowing that they feel the sweetness of Andrew's character and have chosen his grave as a place of rest for them.  Oh, those darn, sweet deer.

1 comment:

  1. I understand about those darn deer!
    I have a very dear friend that lost her son in Iraq. When she go's to the Cemetery she cleans the stone and often says, "Mom is here Richie, I brought some more flowers for your deer!" Richie also loved Deer. While she used to get so upset, now she takes them to Richie and his deer.

    Those darn deer pull up silk flowers and shake them. They think all flowers at the Cemetery are for them. However they save the yellow for the very last. We have one man here that takes yellow roses to his wife every week. He puts them on her stone and they are either dumped when Ted mows (if they are wilted) or he replaces them the next week!
    Red is the favorite of the Deer. But you are right they are watching over Andrew's spot!
    You and Bill are very special. God will hold your hand and help you through each day.