It's been harder to get my butt out of bed and on the course in the morning lately. It's a combination of a month off for sickness and how dang cold it's gotten lately. It's aggravating to have to spend so long getting dressed - and dressing the hounds (they hate coats more than cold weather, but they have no fur so it's not negotiable).
Plus we have to start really early to be done and off the course when we're supposed to be because goodness knows I am not fond of walking on the streets and sidewalks. It's boring. And I don't walk just for my physical health and for the dogs ablutions (potty!).
We start on the 13th green - where we live - and then go 14, 15, a street stretch that equals another full fairway, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 then the clubhouse and development entry then 10, 11, 12, and all of 13 again. The course is just over 6.33 miles so we're probably doing 3+ miles - and that makes sense since when I'm moving at a good clip it still takes over an hour - usually an hour twenty. And my most comfortable speed seems to be around 2.5-2.8mph. When it's cold, I'm sure I'm pushing 3. When the dogs are togged I often feel like I'm dragging them at least the first mile. There are 6 foot bridges (OK, golf cart bridges) over streams and lakes (big pond in one instance), and on mornings like this the soles of my Teva's stick to the frosty wood. I feel for the pups.
All this is meant to give you some background - or a point (or many) of reference when I describe what we see (or hear since a good bit of the walk is before dawn).
On 14 for several mornings lately it's been sounding like there was a parrot in the top of a pine - I assumed it was a hawk of some sort until this morning. Who knew. Owls squawk.
The dogs and I stood (they sat - it's their job when we're not walking) in the middle of the fairway instead of on the cart path and listened. There was squawking. Lots of squawking at regular intervals. And finally hooting.
After googling owl calls it appears we have a Common Barn Owl (they screech and squawk and these mp3s sound most likely) or perhaps a Great Horned Owl - more likely to perch in the top of a pine tree. I haven't seen the culprit yet. And I haven't found a Great Horned squawking like a parrot.
Just over and behind a small hill before the tee on 15 was a large buck - not twenty yards from us and the cart path. We had a short convo - I did all the talking while he just stared - then he took flight. It's a good thing the hounds are small or Boris could have pulled me onto my face. He gets great pleasure from chasing the deer but he doesn't get to be off lead until the top of 11, and daylight, so mom can see where he is.
No sign today of our buddy, Bubba, a handsome gray tabby who lives at the top of 11 today. Like most smart felines he was probably inside on the upholstered furniture instead of vole hunting. If he is out, he always comes running for a good petting session when I call him. He's even so used to the dogs that he's lost himself and rubbed up against Boris - who ignores him. Now Lexi wants to be his friend. She really wants a kitty of her own and my bunch will have nothing to do with her. Bubba feels the same way. poor Lexi.
At some point I'll make room in my pocket for the camera - I'd love to get some footage of Boris and the "get this coat offa my butt" dance.
One more thought - steel cut has ruined me for instant oatmeal.