Friday, July 01, 2005

Critter Golf

Today was a Flex Friday, which meant that I didn't have to go to work. The Navy Base here employs a flex schedule. Instead of working five 8-hour days a week, we work 9-hour days and then get every other friday off.

So today was a day off, It was also the front end of a four day weekend that will culminate of monday with the Fourth of July. So what better thing to do on the first day of a four day weekend than go golfing.

Well a lot of other golfers had the same idea. So too it seems, did several critters.

It started out on the practice green. I was taking a few practice putts and I noticed a couple dry leaves on the green. Then suddenly my ball struck the edge of one of those leaves and it hopped away. On closer inspection I discovered that these leaves were actually little frogs. And I do mean little. Stretched out they were about 2 inches long. When crouching they were less than an inch long.

When we had made our way to the third green, there was a small covey of quails scratching around in the sand nearby. There were only about 5 or 6 but they were the first ones I've seen out there since last fall.

Working our way around the course we encountered the normal adult and baby ducks and some adult and baby coots, Several jack rabbits and quite a few cottontails.

While waiting for the foursome in front of us to get clear of the 14th tee I decided to make a brief nature call and wandered over to the line of salt cedars that line the edge of the course. While making friends with a tree I noticed a little cottentail sitting about four feet away. He only thing that moved on this bunny were his nose and eyes. He never took those off me.

Many of the critters out there get pretty used to the people wandering around. At one point I was walking past one of the ponds and there was a duck sitting in my path. As I approached this duck nonchalantly waddles off to the water's edge. If I would have had a club in my hand I could have reached out and touched it. It let me get that close.

Now a golf course is usually located outdoors. Which means we are playing golf in some critters backyard. Today there just seemed to be a much larger selection of critters than usual. Or maybe these critters are always there, but today I had time to notice them. The course was pretty crowded. The round took us 4 and half hours. So I had time to look around a lot more than usual.

By the way, I golfed pretty good. At least for me it was pretty good. I shot a 91, which with a 26 handicap means I was 7 under par - net. Since net par is what you should shoot on a good day. I guess I should say I had a great day. The only detractor was the 109 degree temps. That was a little warm.

But like they say, a bad day golfing is better than your best day at work.


annika said...

109 degrees?
that sounds like a bad day for golf!

David said...

109s not too bad. I played a round two years ago and it was 114 when we started. You need to drink a lot of water, and stand in the shade as much as possible. The good side to that is, the farther into the round you get the lighter your bag gets as you drink all the water you have to lug around.

We don't complain too much about the temps. If it was only in the 80s here everyday there would be a couple hundred thousand people living in this valley. The undesirable weather is one of the things that keeps our population under 30K.