Last Friday, I went out to rake leaves (yes, my autumn obsession). I raked several neat piles, muttering under my breath about "neighbor's leaves that blow into my yard" and then carried the leaves to the curb.
I offer this photographic evidence, and ask--which side do you think is my yard? and which, my neighbor's?
I mention this Friday chore only to pinpoint a time.
On Saturday, I looked out a back window and thought--that's odd. Why does the small Engelman spruce look so odd? So I trekked outside, and here's what I found.
Several deep gouges in the soft earth.
Many broken branches on the lower half of the tree.
And a gouge on the trunk of the tree.
Apparently, our neighborhood deer, or at least one of them, had issues with the tree. Or, more likely, used this little tree to rub velvet off its antlers. I didn't see the deer, but the evidence is quite clear.
The frustrating thing for me is that I have never seen these deer. Several neighbors have, and my husband and our dog encountered them one evening. We live in very suburban area, in a development that is almost 30 years old. We have lived in this house since 1980, and have NEVER seen deer, until this year. It is evidence of over-building and urban sprawl, that the habitat deer formerly occupied has been destroyed, and so they move into more settled areas.
So, for now, deer--1; tree--0.
UPDATE: On Tuesday, I came home to find my neigbor--I'll call her Phyllis--raking leaves into piles. I was so overjoyed that I went right over and volunteered to help her carry them to the curb. I have learned that leaves left in piles tend to blow into my yard--so I may as well transport them now, as later.