Summer’s here. Oh, I know that’s not what the calendar says but everyone knows that summer starts on Memorial Day, even if it is unofficial. And given the temperatures today, it felt like summer too…hot and humid. Tomorrow’s high could reach 100 and it’s only June 1.
With this heat I’ve abandoned my late afternoon walks for treks around the neighborhood after dinner. Not only is it cooler but I’ve got more options than my usual routes. Golfers are, for the most part, off the course so I can walk the cart paths. It’s a nice change to be looking at the backs of houses I usually pass on the front, and then there’s all that green grass to look at. It makes for a peaceful walk.
But you can’t get lost in the reverie and not pay attention. Without much warning those big ol’ sprinklers will pop up right next to you…and when they do, they start spraying water as soon as they’re out of the ground. That’ll get your heart rate up!
The other thing you have to watch for are the foxes. We’ve had them in the neighborhood for several years now and they’re most visible this time of year when the little ones are big enough to be out playing at dusk. This year there’s a mother fox with six kits living in a wooded area between the 17th tee and a section of the 13th fairway so they’re seen pretty regularly.
As I was heading down 13 tonight I met a guy who lives over there was headed home in his golf cart. (He takes his two dogs for a ride every evening. They sit on the seat next to him…so cute.) Watch when you get to the bridge he said; the foxes are just around the corner…all of them. And sure enough, when I got to the bridge and eased around the corner, there were the foxes…but just five of them. They were ignoring the group of half a dozen or so who had stopped their cars or paused their walks to watch from the street nearby. The street’s elevated right in there so the foxes felt safe. I, on the other hand, was right down on their level. I stopped so the foxes wouldn’t feel threatened and after eyeing me cautiously, they scattered into the woods. They didn’t stay long, however; just minutes after I reached the street they were back out in the fairway wrestling with one another. I guess I’ll have to start carrying a camera with me when I walk in this area so I can capture the new residents in the neighborhood.
While we’re always glad to have nature’s creatures around (snakes being the exception), we’re particularly glad to have the foxes this year. Why, you ask? They’ve substantially reduced the squirrel population; in fact, it’s become almost rare to see a squirrel in that part of the neighborhood. Wayne walks three mornings a week and plays golf on two and they see a fox carrying a squirrel back to its den almost every time. They've even seen as many as four foxes with squirrels.
Those young foxes are more than half-grown now. I think I’ll send them a nice invitation to come set up housekeeping in our corner of the neighborhood when Mom and Dad kick them out. They’ll be within easy commuting distance to where they grew up and we still have plenty of squirrels they can chow down on. If only they’ll pay attention.