Squirrels aren't the only wildlife wreaking havoc in my urban garden. Deer—over-populated and starving in the forested, nearby Schenley Park—have begun to cross into the city streets in-search of food. Since the mountain lions (which once roamed the area) are now gone, the deer population has exploded and they have stripped their wooded domain of grass, leaves and bark. As they venture out of the forest, they bring numerous problems with them. Automobiles hit them. Ticks (possibly bearing Lyme Disease) drop-off the deer, lying-in-wait for the next dog or human to pass-by. (A colleague of mine is currently battling the devastating effects of Lyme Disease—and not well.) And the starving creatures devour my lovingly-tended plants, sometimes just as they emerge through the soil's surface (which is infuriating and expensive). We saw one tulip in our garden this year; by the next morning, it was gone. And the plants, which we hoped would attract bees and butterflies, are mowed-down before they are able to flower.
The City of Pittsburgh has been slow to react. They have taken tentative steps in other parts of the city (but not ours): allowing vetted & licensed bow-and-arrow hunters to come-in and take a determined number of deer, at a specified time. The venison is to be donated to willing city food banks. This solution, however, has been met with horrified (and vocal) opposition. In truth, this strikes me as a violent solution, however, if the deer receives a quick, clean kill—and the meat can be used by a hungry family—this solution strikes me as the best of possible options. "Sterilization darts," I have been told, are ineffective and impractical.
Despite the worrying increase of deer in my garden, I continue to collect decorative objets embellished with the elegant ungulates. The handsome Danish Art Deco stoneware vase, shown above, features a bas relief band with three deer, circling the vessel. Perhaps they are finishing off the last tulips in Copenhagen? Click on the photo above to learn more about this attractive piece.
Another Autumnal Offering tomorrow.
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248