The knock at the door came early, though not unreasonably so. The gentleman said his daughter-in-law had hit and injured a deer on the road. They had called for help but it had been a half-hour already and did we by any chance have a gun? The doe was suffering terribly.
We're not really hunters but we do have a gun and a few minutes later the doe took her last breath and crossed to wherever it is we go when life is gone. Her body lay near the woods on the south side of our property.
Deer are as much a part of our gardening life here as the perennials and trees we plant, the vegetables we nurture, or the red squirrels who help themselves at the bird feeders. We take note of deer-resistant plants, wrap choice shrubs and trees in protective cages through the winter and spread deer repellent in the spring to keep them away from the crocus and tulips. I curse them when I see the damage they do to our plantings, and I love them as I watch them pass gracefully through the yard, looking for food in the winter.
So later in the day, as I was pushing bulbs into the ground near our newly constructed pool, I decided to give this autumn crocus a different name. I will call it the Doe Crocus. Because, after all, the deer are as much a part of our little landscape as we are.