Saturday, November 30, 2013

Installing Deer Protection Around Arborvitae

Normally each fall, sometime in late November or early December, we place protective devices around the arborvitae in the Gethsemane Prayer Garden. We use protective netting on the smaller plants and metal fencing around the larger ones – both have done an excellent job over the last 10 years. Historically the deer have walked through this two-acre garden every winter day yet did not damage any of the arbs.

The protective netting is a thin black plastic that orchards often use to keep birds away. These are tied to metal fence posts and wrapped around the smaller plants which retains their shape and aesthetic beauty – from a distance, it is hard to see that the netting is there.

For a large cluster of arborvitae, we install fencing that does not have the same aesthetic beauty:

Photo from January 2013

Today, with six inches of snow on the ground and temperature in the 20's, I attempted to install that thin black netting. It was too cold – after an hour, I gave up with frozen fingers as I thought, "Why didn't I listen to the voice of God?"

Last week, when there was no snow on the ground and temperatures were in the low 40's, I had time to put it up. That Friday morning I knew the Lord was nudging me to get out there, but instead worked on some other things at home that I thought were also important. Wrong again – I was able to spend an hour that Friday afternoon, but distraction again kept me away from the deer protection work. When will I ever learn?

God does speak and it is always for the good. I, like others, need to be more consistent about listening and then obeying our Lord.