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:


Deer!

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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