12 Mar POND LIFE
A pond, depending on your perspective, is something that swallows your Titleist Pro V1 (the third in a row, yikes), but it can also be an ecosystem teaming with interesting wildlife. So the next time you’re ‘pretending’ to search for my mis-hit ball along the shores of the ponds at Western Trent, on holes #2 or #7, check out some of the pond life.
Sometimes it’s not hard to miss the pond life. Occasionally, a noisy gaggle of Canada geese or a rather large, ambling snapping turtle dominate the pond environs. But look closer for the goldfish, green frogs, American toad tadpoles, and numerous sparrows, warblers and other song birds flitting back and forth from the hedge rows. And as an entomologist, I often get distracted from my game when I spot whirlygig beetles, spinning across the plankton-rich surface of the pond. Often tiger swallowtail butterflies are seen having orgies on the mud or iridescent damseflies and dragonflies scoot by ‘attached’…if ya know what I mean. The ponds team with backswimers, striders, diving beetles and various midges, providing food for great blue herons, aquatic amphibians and the crepuscular racoon. Western Trent is a great golf course and a rather stupendous green space.
So, for all of you golfers who smash your second shot on #7 well over the pond to reach the green in two, or those of you who can fade your drive over the pond on #2 landing the ball softly at the 100 yard marker…”shut up!”…and perhaps try out my world. Dribble a worm burner up to the ponds and get close to nature. Your score will suffer, but you’ll open the door for this duffer and perhaps experience an often overlooked microcosmos.
By Paul D. Bell,
Entomologist and ball washer.