While golfing yesterday, my son and I saw nearly 100 deer on the course. These beautiful animals seemed to be enjoying the fall day as much as my son and I were. They were noshing on grass and lounging in the sun watching golfers as they passed by looking for their lost golf balls or scouting out the best path to take a shot through the fall foliage after landing a bit outside the fairway.
I was struck by the close bond these animals seemed to share as they walked together or rested in groups of five to ten. They all seemed to look out for the young and slowly moved out of the way as carts passed near them. These gentle creatures did not seem scared but simply cautious and well aware of their personal space.
I considered that these woods once allowed large numbers of deer and other animals to live and play before the area was bull dozed and claimed as a recreation course for people. I venture to guess it was a sad time for the native animals when the forest was cleared for our fun. I’m glad the animals are there and their presence is one of the things I enjoy most about being out on a course.
On this beautiful fall day my son saw a beaver scurry into the woods and I stopped to watch first a magnificent red-tailed hawk, and then a pileated woodpecker as they landed in the trees nearby. The hawk stopped to peer into the forest, perhaps looking for a snack, while the red crested woodpecker danced from tree to tree seeking nourishment and providing some rhythm and distraction as we teed off on the tenth hole.
I’m appreciative to the park authority for managing this fine course in a way that allows people and animals to coexist side by side.