Sunday, October 26, 2008

Stephanie Gehrings excellent story about deer in the southwest suburbs

Stephanie Gehring did an exhaustive news-feature in today's SouthtownStar about the presence of deer in the southwest suburbs. Very good read. Perfect timing for us, too. Click HERE for the link to the story.

My wife and son looked out the back window while I was in front of the house cleaning the lawnmower, and they saw a huge deer slowly walking through our backyard. Now, half our yard is fenced (one neighbor has a large pool -- had one -- and needed a fence) ... and two neighbors took their fences down, damaged by the flooding over the years. It just wandered around for a few minutes, snacked on some vegetation, and then bolted, they said.

I'm not sure where it went but they can be fast and they can jump the tall privacy fences (that are such a waste of money).

I'm sure everyone is upset about the deer but frankly what's the difference when it comes to ticks and excrement between a deer and a raccoon or a possum or a skunk or even a coyote. We've seen a few of them around. The raccoons usually get killed by cars. The skunks get chased away. But the real damage to homes comes fromt he squirrels. I never tire of telling my squirrel story. An amorous couple of squirrels made their way into my rooftop and nested there. They don't like to do much during the day but they sure like to squabble in the evening -- squirrel squabbling. I couldn't get them out. It always seemed one was in while the other was out and I couldn't seal it until I knew they were both out.

One day, I poked my head through the ceiling trap in the closet and sprayed the attic with insect fogger -- four cans. Then, I ran outside and watch as, after a few minutes, the fogger started to waffe out of the small opening they made under the gutter. And then I heard a scream and a squirrel popped out like a cannon ball. A few minutes later, the second squirrel screamed and popped out of the same hole. I had to get up their right away and fixed the hole, and do a check of the eaves around the roof and gutter, too, to make sure they couldn't get back in.

Back to the deer. It's kind of like the airport folks. The forest was here first. If you move into a suburb nestled into a beautiful forest, don't blame the animals for wanting to survive. I think the fact that they eat a few of our plants and vegetables is part of the price of living int he "suburbs." And if we have to take some steps to keep the yard clean, so what.

At least the people quoted in Stephanie's story seemed reasonable.

-- Ray Hanania

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