The deer don’t usually even start pressuring the garden until mid-August, but this year was just so dry they were here by the fourth of July. Unfortunately, my grass actually was greener, and they knew it. The drought this year had both deer and moles hitting us heavier than usual. An oasis of drip irrigation, in a desert of Pacific Northwest drought, was just too much for them to be stopped so easily. Needless to say, our puny attempt at a deer fence did not live up to our exceedingly overconfident expectations. They’ve now been coming through nightly.

I finally resigned to sharing. Too much work left to make the deer perimeter secure and more to summer than working on fence. It just came down to time. We had no more time for the fence this year. The deer have won. For now. Time to reassess and strategize.

Why do we always insist on learning these lessons the hard way? There is a reason our neighbors have those ugly wire cages around their apple trees. Our little baby fruit trees never stood a chance.

A break away from seeing the daily damage the deer bring will do us some good.

Never has it been this bad. All the hard work of planning the fall/winter vegetable garden, ordering the right seeds, starting seedlings, nursing them along so I have healthy starts to put in the ground at the right time. They were looking so good! Until just the other morning. Oh well. This frees up my time this fall to work on some other things. I can roll with it. Time for a vacation. They can have it for now. Our return will mark the beginning of our fall. A fresh start.

Fall is almost like the new year for me. It’s when the kids go back the school and is my time for quarterly planning. But more so, this is one of the two times a year I do a major reassessment and purge. The main push of the garden is done. Time to look back on the year. What worked? What didn’t? Where were high hopes fulfilled and how were they dashed? What directions do we want to continue to pursue and what do we want to let go of?

For now I’m going to take a deep breath. No point in crying over spilled milk or bitten off baby brassicas. I’m practicing stoicism by not worrying myself about things that are out of my control – for now.

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