First the good news: the deer are back at Two Terrier Vineyards. Which most people in Sonoma would think we were crazy to celebrate. Drive around here and you’ll see most places completely fenced in from the deer. The local hardware store does a brisk business in deer repellant, especially the faux coyote wee that’s marketed under the name “Not Tonight, Deer”. We gave in and fenced the vineyards, since it would only take three hungry deer to strip all our vines. But otherwise, we’re actively trying to attract them. We built a little pond and waterfall to give them water during the dry months and I’m thinking of giving them a salt lick. They faded away into the adjacent State Park recently since John the Baptist has been here with a chainsaw cutting brush. But recently, we’ve seen Chuck the Buck (that’s him at the top of the post) as well as his harem of does hanging around the wine cave and crush pad. That’s no coincidence. Every year after we’ve crushed and pressed, I’ve taken the pressed skins (which, after they’re removed from the press, resemble a very rich Christmas fruitcake) and thrown them over the side of the hill for the deer. They love it! And they’re sensing that the crush is just around the corner, so they’re already lining up.
Which brings me to the next class of critter — or varmint, depending on your point of view. Also back in force are our coyotes. I’ve never managed to get a picture of one — not that they seem all that scared of me. When we were still spending weekends up at the tent cabin, we’d wake up in the morning to find coyote poo on the deck. Which is certainly a coyote way of disrespecting you and your little dogs, too. One morning, one of them strolled by down the path in front of the cabin. The dogs were going crazy but were too scared to leave the cabin. The coyote just looked at us disdainfully, sniffed the air and walked on. He certainly had no reason to fear terriers as he was the size of a young German Shepherd with a full and glossy coat. Clearly the Master of His Domain.
Just the other day, John the Baptist and Louis showed up to cut brush and saw two adults and two or three youngsters skulking in the bushes outside the barn. The coyotes retreated into the brush, but didn’t run away when they saw John and Louis, who reported that these were also coyotes of the fat and sassy persuasion. I know I might feel differently when we have horses, but right now, we’re being overrun by gophers and moles since the rattlesnakes moved on. So coyotes are welcome here. The buffet is laid out.
And speaking of the least welcome little varmints, at the top of the list put whatever is eating up my poor haricot verts before they can even sprout. Judging from the location and quality of the fox poo around here, I’d say the foxes have moved on to the vineyard — which is fine because they aren’t tall enough to grab many grapes. But some little critters are stalking my garden.
The next tactic is to post a sign that says: “All You Can Eat Buffet, Coyotes Eat FREE!”
Hilarious! The grapes, BTW, look lush and delicious…you live an amazing life, and have a real gift for sharing it with the rest of us!
Oh something is totally getting our poor kale & chard as it sprouts too, such a bummer. We laughed because something took one or two bites out a a couple jalapenos & then left them, probably got a shock from the heat.
This actually seems very sensible: divert the deer to something you don’t mind if they eat. Deer are not especially devious and will not suspect that you’re giving them the runaround.
Your average coyote, however, probably thinks himself a Super Genius. 🙂
You’ve got t his all so well thought out…Good luck with the buffet. I love that use use VC’s name throughout this post, as in “varmint critter” 😉 Hope you’re doing well!
The villain varmint you are hunting may be as small as a pill bug. One day I set out dozens of tomato seedlings with hopes of heirloom bounties. The next day, most all the seedlings were mowed down. A little CSI work on my part led me to the guilty pill bugs. I would have never thought such little bugs could do so much damage in such a short amount of time.
Go out at night with a flashlight and see if they’re having a late night buffet on your sprouts.
Maybelline, I’m pretty sure it’s not bugs as the seeds have been dug up and brought to the back of the barn and munched at leisure. Unless these are superhero bugs, I don’t think they’d have the strength.
Chaz, I’m sure our coyotes think they are Wile E Coyotes. Which is fine. They are welcome to all the varmints they can catch.
If you buy me Winchester model 70 (preferably the left-handed .270 Win.) or a Remington 870 shotgun with a deer slug barrel, I’d be happy to provide you with venison.
Oh, two things, please list me as a tenant now so I can get a resident’s hunting license. Second, never ever buy a gun new. Let someone else pay the premium for a new one, just like with cars.
No, Mark! Deer are not being classified as varmints or critters at Two Terriers. We love them. And so does our resident Mountain Lion. Now the gophers, moles and rabbits? It’s open season all year round on them.