Pheasants on the Golf Course

Ok, so, I’ve actually heard people say, “Bloggers have nothing to say!”  Cough!  Sputter!  How dare you??!

I just got home from my river-walk with Max.  It was pure magic!  Yes, the sky IS grey and there IS a constant drizzle! My eye glasses begged for a wipe…but, I just pushed them lower and lower on my nose!  As you likely know, Calgary is infamous for its zillion-and-one golf courses.  I’m letting you know right now, I don’t golf and I have several environmental and OTHER reasons for why I cringe at each siting of another golf course being developed by our river.  But, I know…I know…some of the people I know, absolutely love to golf!  They live and breath golf…they travel for golf…they book days off for golf…they date golfers…talk golf…drink at golf clubs…so, far be it for me to say ANYTHING negative about golf courses!  So…I’ll move on to my blog.

I want to write about the pheasants on the golf course, as well as make other observations of our time down by the river this evening. First of all, the Bow River is at least ten feet up from where it was last week.  We were walking on river rock last week and Max, the border collie, was neck-deep, chasing sticks.  Tonight, as I struck a path through the wild rose bushes and tall grass, Max eagerly took a nose dive off of the bank, anticipating, I’m sure, his hunt for the perfect stick.  Instead, he lifted off of the bank and landed in fast-moving river water.  He did a quick about face, bounding up the river bank and charging about like a kook.  It was so funny that I let out a belly laugh.

It was interesting watching the birds this evening.  With the huge mosquito population this season, the birds, like dive-bombers, were swooshing down just above the water surface, feeding steadily and in huge number.  I took Max down to the foot bridge and watched the birds for a long time from the half way point on the bridge. 

I don’t know how those geese protect their babies!  Two pair of geese were VERY busy coralling their family of countless babes, attempting to keep them tucked in to the wee eddies, but dealing constantly with the rushing water and the apparent contradictory spirits/choices of the young ones.  In the end, the two families separated, clamouring onto the grassy bank.  Amazing how one family headed one direction and the other, in another. How do those downy babes know their own parents?  AWESOME!

A beautiful male pheasant let out his call, again and again for the duration of my walk.  I stopped and watched him a couple of the times along the way.  Two magpies swooped again and again in the pheasant’s territory and I knew that the brightly-coloured male was likely defending a nest.  I marvel at the challenges for wildlife and know that in the end, it is all really a matter of which BEAST is stronger.  So much of what I observed today was about instinct.  It was just so fantastic to be party to a taste of it.

Finally, there were several pheasants on the golf course!  I can not tell you how comical this was, given the particular way that pheasants move or ‘make tracks’.  They were evidently feeding, and in this situation on wide open MOWED greens, I’m certain that they became immediately, more vulnerable.  All of the colours were such a contrast and the time that I spent watching seemed so surreal.  Nothing about what I saw, the dance of these birds, made sense.  Ours is a remarkable world!

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