When I got home yesterday after 8 days away and looked out toward the vegetable garden I could see that something was amiss: leaves were missing. The full broad leaves of the brussels sprouts had been chewed away, though happily the sprouts were untouched.
The sorrel was gone.....
.....as was the swiss chard.
The beets remain, but not their greens.
Of course I knew that deer had gotten into the garden while I was gone; they begin to jump the fence when the weather cools down, hoping to fill their bellies before winter. I saw the tracks of a large deer....
....and those of a small one, perhaps a doe and her young offspring.
At the very end of the garden season, sometime in later November, I lower the electric fence and invite the local deer in to finish what remains; but I'm not yet ready to do that, so I put some fresh packets of peanut butter on the fence: if a deer goes close for a taste, a little shock will tell her "not now". My animal neighbors will have to wait a while longer for their treat, and meanwhile, brussels sprouts for dinner!