Our bedroom window looks out from our second floor onto the 12th green of the George Fazio golf course in Palmetto Dunes. It’s a beautiful, tranquil view with many tall trees lining the fairways and clustering around the greens. I have begun to use this window as a vantage point to view the creatures that inhabit these trees and lead their own lives while largely ignoring the golfers who scoot off to the next tee after picking up their “gimme” putts. This squirrel hardly notices when a foursome passes through the green, line up their putts, take a few swings, and then rush off to the 13th tee.
But you can be sure the squirrel notices this pair of raptors (are they osprey?) perched in the huge pine tree just across the 12th green. They sit there watching, patiently taking in all that passes beneath them, waiting for the prey that will become their next meal. They, too, notice the golfers who pass by but they hardly move and are never swayed from their primary purpose–looking, watching, waiting. When a careless squirrel ventures too far from the tree, the raptors swoop down and make the capture with their powerful talons, carrying the next meal to the safety of that high perch where they share the day’s pickings. It’s fascinating to watch, and I wonder whether the golfers ever see any of the drama playing out all around them.
Surely some graduate student has defined an ecosystem associated with golf courses, outlining the associated pecking orders and food chains. But I’ll wager the definition doesn’t include the golfers as a necessary component!