I grew large pumpkins in the garden this past year to use as fall decorations. 'Twas a good pumpkin year and we had some real whoppers.
They added gorgeous autumnal color at the base of trees, by the garage door, our main entry door, on the deck, etc.
We had some cold, freezing weather early on and the orange pumpkins kept their color but turned into rock-hard, ceramic-like globes.
Then, drat and darn, there followed some unusually warm weather, the pumpkins thawed but could no longer maintain their lovely, round shapes. Old age quickly set in and they started to sag and bag. We decided they'd have to go to the compost pile soon.
One particular pumpkin that was at the base of a tree started showing signs of being gnawed upon. At first we wondered what critter was helping himself to an animal version of pumpkin pie, but soon realized since the pumpkin was near a path the deer often use (and noticing deer prints all around the spot . . . well, duh), it was our deer population consuming the pumpkin.
So we gathered up all the rest of the pumpkins and took some out to our small hay field, and placed others by different deer trails. (The chickens got a couple of them, too, which they seemed to enjoy.)
The ones placed out and about for the deer disappeared faster than we would have ever imagined. There was quickly no evidence at all of the ones left out in the field. Even the coarse stems were gone.
This picture of not much more than a little pumpkin pulp was taken late in the day. It had been a nearly whole pumpkin that morning.
So my pumpkins served us well this year . . . decorations that we enjoyed for well over a month and then food for the wildlife.
Neat fact: Did you know that pumpkins are a natural vermifuge? That means they contain a substance that expels or destroys intestinal worms. Works the same for humans, especially the pumpkin seeds. (Sorry, hope you weren't eating while reading this.)
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