To add insult to injury, it seems that NONE of the neighbours near or far has lost a single leaf. Did we single-handedly support said deer herd??? Granted, they kindly donated loads of fertilizer (as a thank you gift, I suppose), but it's been a bit of a lop-sided relationship.
I have begun to wonder if there is sign language involved. My maternal grandmother, a kind and generous person, fed hundreds of homeless men who rode the rails during the Depression and who apparently headed straight for her kitchen when the trains stopped in town. Years later I read that such men left chalk marks on a gate as shorthand for what one might expect from the householder. I have to say goodbye now and head for the garden. That pesky chalk mark must be somewhere out there and IT NEEDS TO GO.