Introducing Lily the party animal

Something was eating my pond plants. My beautiful water lilies, marsh marigold, parrot’s feather — almost all gone!

I wasn’t sure what was eating it. I couldn’t develop a solution without knowing what did it.

Some people suggested raccoons or opossum but I haven’t seen either one lately and never in the pond. A groundhog leaning in from the edge could be the culprit but the damage (pots overturned) seemed a little extreme.

Someone recommended a humane animal relocation person. How could I call and ask for his services if I didn’t know what it was? Would the bait be different? How about the cage size?

We bought an infrared camera to capture the wild nightlife that goes on in my yard when I sleep. Obviously a bar opens and a band plays. I am not invited. There should be a cover charge for these party animals. They are noshing on my goods and having a drink too.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think it was deer!

That would be a HUGE cage!

My pond is small – 5 foot by 11 foot. It’s 28 inches deep at the deep end and slopes to an area that is 6 inches deep. The bottom is not easy to navigate with bricks, stones, pumps and whatnot down there.

As they say, the truth is in the pudding. I have 79 photos that captured the party in full swing.  Here are the best of them in black and white.

Meet Lily (named by a friend because she eats my water lilies). She is cruising on the stones on the top of the pond.

Meet Lily (named by friend Lynn because she eats my water lilies). She is cruising on the very narrow stone edging on the top of the pond.

This looks like a really good spot!

This looks like a really good spot!

And here she is, front feet in the pond at the deepest part having hor dourves!

And here she is, front feet in the pond having hor dourves!

These pictures were taken around  4 a.m. For perspective, this is how my pond looked before the feasting started.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANotice how much vegetation I have on the top of the pond! It’s good to keep it partially covered so the fish can hide and to keep the algae down.

Now that she is named, I wonder if I have to get deer chow for her.

36 thoughts on “Introducing Lily the party animal

  1. Your deer is no “dear” if she’s noshing at your lovely pond. I see some of what you’ve tried. There are – supposedly – other products that you can use that will discourage deer. I had considered it when we lived in New York, but I don’t think we ever went thru with it. Best wishes, Kate. Love your pond.


  2. Now that’s a problem. We have deer and from what I can tell they’ll eat anything they can get to. Cannot imagine how you’re going to persuade Lily to stay away from the pond party. Best of luck with Lily.


  3. Your pond is (was?) so beautiful!!! I used to live in deer country. I tried planting things deer weren’t supposed to like, but it seems that not every deer follows the rules. Keeping your garden safe from deer is like trying to keep the squirrels from eating your bird seed or trying to keep the raccoons out of your cherry tree. Hint: You can’t scare a raccoon with a broom.


    • 🙂 I feel the pain! Yesterday I went down to my shed next to my peach trees. The peaches are long gone but there was a tubby ground hog in the top part of the tree. It’s amazing what they can do when it comes to food.


  4. Oh Deer…. I mean, hi Lily! At least you know how to operate a new gadget and found another four legged creature. As long as no fishes were eaten, please pardon her. Otherwise, make deer stew.


  5. I had no idea deer ate water lilies!clearly they’re not fussy eaters. What a shame! as your pond is beautiful and I do hope you get to keep both the pond beautiful and the deer happy 😀 I have had deer wander through my garden but never for a meal (maybe they visit at night and I remain blissfully unaware?)


    • Deer are not fussy eaters. I has a prickly border on the side of the pond where she is coming in. I had to remove it this year because of disease and that’s why I’m having such a problem. I replaced it with a soft arborvitae ground cover and it may not keep them out. If they wander through they made have had a snack or two. You would know if you had a lot of damage. They can eat a plant down to the ground. Mostly they munch on it a little at a time.


  6. Gorgeous pond, but also gorgeous animal! Thank you for feeding her, Kate! Really, your pond is just beautiful–no wonder Lily is attracted to it!
    We don’t have deer here in Arizona :(. But yesterday my son who lives in Orange County, California, sent me a photo of the apartment raccoon (he lives on the roof) taking a nap on the steps right outside my son’s apartment. I guess that counts as wildlife, but I doubt that raccoon is any wilder than the other residents.


  7. We bought an infrared camera to capture the wild nightlife that goes on in my yard when I sleep. Obviously a bar opens and a band plays. I am not invited. There should be a cover charge for these party animals. They are noshing on my goods and having a drink too…so funny.

    Omigod…talk about getting caught in the act…and she’s so pretty and clearly vegan. I love the pictures…maybe the two of you can have a talk, girl to girl.
    As far as capturing her…then what…does Bambi move into the guest room? Wait till Hazel hears about this.



    • Oh Lily and her friends have smorgasbord at my house often just not in the pond. There is a 65 acre preserve a half mile from mile house where she lives. Obviously she hasn’t seen border or she has a visa!


    • We have deer eating ground plants all the time. To discourage, you plant things they don’t like (which isn’t much). Right now I am covering the part of the pond with vegetation at night. You can spray stinky stuff that smells like really dirty crotch but people can smell it too. You can hang balls of Irish Spring soap but all these things are so temporary and time consuming. It’s easier to landscape around the deer although their tastes change from year to year. This past winter they gave my hollies a good trim. Never did that before.


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