Deer signs, part 2

As I was raking the leaves from under and around the maple in the front yard the other day, I took a look at the cactus bed, wondering how I was going to get most of those leaves out.

Then I noticed something: The Opuntia cacanapa 'Ellisiana' that was the anchor to this end of the bed didn't look right. It didn't have the presence that it usually did.


You see, the three plants I put into the ground this summer were all two or three pads tall, like their potted siblings:

But now there is a definite lack of height. Pads are missing!

Yep, those are missing pad sockets all right. (I'm not sure what the correct botanical term is, but "sockets" seems to fit.)

Moving a few leaves around, I found the detached parts:

I'm not entirely certain, but this looks a lot like a hoof imprint:

And this next one, well, it appears to be tooth marks to me:


I can almost see the Goldilocks-like scene playing out...

...this one is too wrinkled...

...and this one is too prickly...

...but this one is just right!

I guess I should be happy that they didn't actually eat the pads -- or did they? I found only three pads, but it looks like there are four empty sockets...

I do hope they're done with their taste-testing here though. These are the Opuntia that have the best chance of gaining some height for me, but not if they keep getting deer-whacked!


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Lisa  – (November 21, 2013 at 5:42 AM)  

Ugh. Taste testing is the WORST! The chipmunks did that to my tomatoes all summer long. Dozens of still-green tomatoes with just a few nibbles. "How about this one? Nope! Still too green!" I don't mind sharing, but eat what you sample!

danger garden  – (November 21, 2013 at 10:47 AM)  

So it turns out teenagers aren't the only ones who vandalize opuntia...

Gerhard Bock (Bamboo, Succulents and More)  – (November 21, 2013 at 12:40 PM)  

Is there anything deer won't put in their mouths??? I wonder if they leave really prickly cactus alone?

Alan  – (November 21, 2013 at 1:10 PM)  

The funny thing is, at first I thought they had snapped off from the wind. Then I realized how ridiculous that was -- they're quite firmly attached!

At least I'll have more of these to share now. Anybody want a pad?

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