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Today, outside my kitchen door, just behind the electric fences were six deer
in their dark winter coloration.  Five of six were last summers babies.  All
looked at me making as much noise as one agitated woman can and none moved
other than to look up and ask what's new.

When I read the happy notes of spring popping up around the country, I think
this is my first sign of spring - the deer are moving.  Our garden lies on a
"shelf" on the side of a small mountain with narrow fields around.  Nothing
is more bucolic than a group of grazing deer in the field.  I do wish I could
appreciate the scene, a part of me takes pleasure in watching the deer move
slowly across the field and another part knows it is time to hunt up Ed and
have the power turned on.

Do deer eat your irises?  They leave grown plants but nibble any emerging
greenery in early spring when the wood and fields are still brown and barren.
 Any plant (iris included) is cropped at this time.  Our woods have no spring
wildflowers and no seedling evergreens, all lost to deer.  Our gardens are
surrounded by electric fencing which is ugly and worrisome.  Raids on my
garden have brought tears to my eyes and escalation to my power bill.  

One of the reasons Siberians have found a home here is deer.  Japanese irises
are my next project, a July perennial (here) not drawing deer (as daylilies
do).  What is the experience with irises and deer depredation?

Claire Peplowski
Zone 4 (real zone), upstate NY nr. Berkshires 
Winter's gloom lifted a bit, some sun  with ice still on the pond.

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