Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mending Fences

Peter and I spent yesterday working at the vineyard. Peter’s dad mentioned a few days ago that he suspected deer were in the vineyard.(see the photo of deer tracks)
That’s like saying there’s a fox in the hen house if it had been growing season. Deer can wreak havoc in no time at all by eating all the tender new shoots. Therefore, the entire vineyard is surrounded by nine foot tall nylon deer netting. Since I don’t believe deer use scissors (where would they store them?), I can’t figure out just how they managed to breach the fence in three locations. They aren’t jagged breaks; they’re usually straight lines. (see photo of broken fence, below)

The fencing is also intended to keep out small animals. Unfortunately, the woodchucks had already set up shop within the fence boundaries when the fence was installed. Anyone who has seen Caddyshack will appreciate the futility in trying to eradicate them. Similarly, raccoons can’t be blocked. I will readily concede that they are smarter and more persistent than we humans. (The gluttonous birds require their own separate fencing later in the growing season.)

You’ll notice the bicycle rims that we used to mend the fence at the creek. Peter’s dad has a supply of old, free rims that he gets from a bicycle repair shop. In their repurposed lives, the rims allow water to flow while dissuading deer and other wildlife from entering the “no wildlife” zone. Even if the deer choose to re-break the fence, they won’t walk on the wheel spokes. We think the solution is fool-proof. I’m sure the deer will continue to make fools of us.

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