Walking With Wildlife At Washtenaw Golf Club
One of the joys of golf for me is the opportunity to see the wide variety of wildlife that inhabit the parklands, fields, forests and marsh of Michigan’s golf courses.
A golf course’s wildlife can truly be observed while walking. Zipping about in carts affords far less of an opportunity to spot and contemplate the wildlife. If you’re zipping about, you miss the deer peering out from behind a tree, or the fox under a bush.
The carts also likely scare off any number of creatures.
The hawk in the photo above followed me from tree to tree down the eighteenth fairway yesterday at Washtenaw Golf Club. Perhaps he thought I might pull a tasty rodent out of my bag. Maybe I looked like I was going to do something interesting. Or he may just have been trying to lead me away from a nest.
I’m sure I would have missed him if I was driving determinedly to my ball in a cart. The hawk was sitting on a low branch to the right of the tee. I hit my shot, and as I started down the fairway, out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of the hawk as he sailed to a tree just ahead.
The hawk definitely was watching me. As I passed that tree, he sailed to the next. I got out my camera and got as close as I could. The hawk obviously stayed still enough for me to get a nice close photo.
Again, it’s not something I could have done from a power cart.
The hawk stayed with me until I reached the crest of the slope that dives down to the green (photo above) As soon as I hit my shot and started down, he flew off to the thirteenth fairway.
There is a lot of interesting wildlife at Washtenaw. The fox kits that live on the course are absolutely unconcerned with the humans, and can often be seen sleeping in, or playing in the bunkers.
Not long ago, as I was walking over one of the bridges over Paint Creek, I spotted a muskrat toting some building materials to his bank den. Again, it is something I would have missed if not on foot.
I also enjoy watching the ducks. The emerald on the mallards is beautiful. I saw a couple of hummingbirds in the flowers just off the first tee yesterday. They were moving too fast for me to grab my camera, though.
I’ve seen deer as well, but have never been fast enough with the camera to get a photo.
Next time you’re out for a round, try walking. You’ll be surprised at the things you see.