11 May 2021

Hungry Guys

Oh, how I love tulips! But tulips are not a good thing to try to raise in deer country.

A few red and yellow tulips came with the house. I added some pink tulip bulbs Lizard bought in lieu of a bouquet for my first birthday in the then-new (but used) house the following year, and I later bought a few fancy parrot bulbs to incorporate when we finally received permission from the homeowners association to remove the grass and replace it with a drought-tolerant flower garden. Within a couple of weeks after planting my very own tulip bulbs, a bear dug up and (apparently) ate them all! The whole bulbs! Then deer ate all the remaining tulip blooms the following spring before I really had a chance to photograph them.

I learned deer think of tulips the way we humans think of candy. Or brownies.

I love wildlife. I don't mind feeding (some) wildlife. But having critters devour my garden before I can photograph the fruits of my labor is not so much fun!

I have learned to be content with daffodils and irises, which area wildlife don't crave. Perhaps that's their okra... Ha ha ha! I have learned to plant deer- and bunny-resistant flowers and bulbs if I want to get more enjoyment out of my garden than critters can claim. (Although I've also learned deer and bunnies will eat plants they don't like when they are hungry.)

I haven't often been able to see tulips in our backyard in the past because the deer make fast work of the new flowers before I can get home from work. Now that I'm working from home, I got to see nearly the full spectrum of tulips in my backyard last week. One of my friends had told me years and years ago that all tulips will turn yellow with time. Another friend begged to differ. I don't know if all tulips turn yellow, but I had some pretty awesome combinations this year I don't remember seeing in years past. (Of course, it may be that the deer ate the various hues each year before I got to see them.)

I snipped three of the prettiest tulips so I could snap some photos against the bluebird sky. I planned to take the good camera out after work that afternoon to shoot a few more photos, particularly of a pink tulip with a dramatic black hexagon at the bottom and a red tulip with what could have been the outline for an intricate black and yellow snowflake on its bottom. I was tempted to cut more blossoms for a vase inside the house, but I thought taking more than three would be selfish.

These guys, however, had different ideas. They apparently scheduled a business luncheon when I couldn't be watching out the window, and they devoured every single open tulip! They even pulled up a bunch of bulbs, but apparently their eyes were bigger than their stomachs. The unearthed bulbs were left strewn about the yard.

The scattered bulbs have been recovered and buried in containers on the porch. I'm going to have tulips next year, and no one is going to eat them!!!


  1. I do love my "deer" friends. I have to admit I'm not happy with them when they top off my tomatoes, I call in natural pruning, straight across. Tiger lillies, and Hollyhocks. I spray to repel...right now there is plenty for them in the woods. but soon...they will be visiting around for roses and tomatoes. Even peppers :)...get out the spray...Your tulips are lovely, I didn't see any this year, hmm.....may our "deer friends" Isabelle,Tobey, & Rosebud yes I've named them. :)

  2. Aaargh! I'm glad they left the bulbs at least, and that you got some photos before the business luncheon. :/


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