As the Crow Flies, so Goes the Pink Ball

If you think it’s hard to meet new people, try picking up the wrong golf ball.
– Jack Lemon –

They call it ‘One Tough Nine’. It is the Golf Course my friends and I play once a week when the weather allows. Three large ponds bring water into play on seven of the nine holes. (Water hazard is just another way of saying mosquitoes.) Large flocks of Canada Geese patrol the fairways and greens – leaving fertilizer calling cards. There is  ample habitat for gopher holes, which are always the right size to lose a golf ball in, and will sometimes grow big enough to take your foot or leg. Sixty eight sand bunkers (most clustered near the greens) provide ample beach time if you tire of trying to find your ball in the grass of the long rough.

Yesterday I discovered yet another hazard. I had an extra good drive off the 5th tee and could see my nice pink golf ball sitting on the top of a small rise at the top of a hill. I lost sight of the ball when I stepped down off the tee box. When I was about half way up the hill, a large crow flew overhead – something pink was clutched in her bill. “That looks like a golf ball,” I thought.

I got to the top of the hill and realized that my golf ball was gone. The crow flew by again, still clutching what was now clearly MY pink golf ball. She continued to circle over head for the rest of that hole, and most of the next one. At one point my friend saw her land, drop the ball, then pick it up again.

There is no penalty if you lose a golf ball to a predator, unless, of course, you keep score like we do. We don’t count our strokes, we just keep track of how many golf balls we lose. The thieving crow meant I was down one. But I had found a white ball earlier in the round, so technically I was even, though one white ball does not equal a coloured ball in my view.

I won’t go into the laws of probability, but I have to wonder – what were the chances that a crow would pick up a golf ball at that location on the golf course at that particular time? Did the colour of the ball affect the crow’s choice, or was the colour the only reason the crow picked up the ball at all? If I had shot another pink ball, would the crow have dropped my first ball and picked up the second one? (It was unfortunate that I had run out of pink balls or I could have found out the answer to that last question.)

When I got home I rummaged through a cupboard in the garage and found the box of pink golf balls that I had got for Christmas. I’m armed and ready for the hazards of the course next week!

My game went so bad today, that I lost two balls in the ball washer.
– Author unknown –

Addendum: I golfed again the following week. I was talking to the course marshal before our tee time.  “Watch out for the crow”, he said. “We had a tournament here a few days ago, and the players were using pink golf balls.  The crow stole at least 9 of them.”

I used my pink golf balls anyhow, but kept an eye out for crows before I teed off. I only lost 2 pink balls that day – none to the crow, though!

Comforts Zones and Risk Tolerance

The length of this document defends it well against the risk of its being read.
– Winston Churchill –

I’ll keep this story short, then, with a few photos -not risqué, just risky.

Risk Tolerance and Comfort Zone – two concepts to think about now and then. At our house, The Car Guy is working hard to get back into his Comfort Zone, which for him is freedom from pain, and getting his neck brace off. (See A Perfect Storm.) Once that is achieved, he can start to think again about what his Risk Tolerance will be when the motorcycle is repaired!

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
– Anais Nin –

We live in an area of the country called Hail Alley.  These white lilies have been in my garden for ten years or more, and without fail they get hit by hail either just before they bloom, or just after.  That doesn’t stop them from blooming as best they can, though. Plucky little flowers.

lawn chairs

The concept of reducing risk is not new. People have been managing risks in some form since human beings first decided to keep their hands out of the cookfire.
– Risk Management – BC Fire Academy –

Summer bonfires (with marshmallows) at the cabin.  The grandchildren are old enough now to whittle sticks with sharp knives and use said weapons for tasks that bother timid adults. (This is the best I can do for a bonfire photo – I was never at the cabin on the evenings the extended family had a bonfire. It was just that kind of a summer.)

Adventure without risk is Disneyland.
– Doug Coupland –

My nephews little boy has a bike now and while he can’t keep up with the big kids on their bikes, he can sure park it where they do. He wears a helmet, of course, but the pot holes in the roads at the cabin have unseated him on more than one occasion, and he can show you the bruises to prove it.

I’m stepping out of my Comfort Zone today – I’m going to the dentist. Yes, I am a risk taker! How about you?

Fleeting Moment – Hutterites at the Playground

The playground in our Cabin Community. Children playing. Mothers nearby – watching, talking. Can you spot what makes this Fleeting Moment so unique?

Alberta Hutterite

The women are all wearing long dresses and head scarves. The women belong to one of the many Hutterite Colonies found in our province.

We are extremely fortunate to have several Colonies near our Cabin. Once a week in the summer they bring vegetables and baking to sell to the cabin owners. Our family is particularly happy when the peas arrive – we buy several bags each time, then spend the rest of the afternoon shelling and eating the little green morsels inside the pods.

Once a year, on  Canada Day, the Hutterite families take part in our little Canada Day Parade. They ride on the fire trucks, and throw candy to the crowds. For just a few hours our very different lives intertwine.

Poked – Barbed Wire and Rose Thorn Macros

I hate weddings. Old people would poke me saying ‘You’re next’. They stopped when I started going up to them at funerals and poking them, saying, ‘You’re next’.
– Author Unknown

macroAlthough it isn’t very polite to poke someone with your finger, the only thing that might get hurt is someones feelings. Not so if you get poked with one of these metal menaces. Do you know what it is?

AlbertaNot quite as dangerous, but painful none the less, are the thorns on a rose bush. I don’t think there are a pair of gardening gloves that can protect your hands when you try to prune one of these plants. The rose is just one of many plants with very prickly personalities!

Summer Garage Sale

Nothing says summer like a Garage Sale. Our Cabin Community held a Parade of Garage Sales recently. It didn’t take long for me to identify the items that I would attempt to unload. I just chose all the things I had no real attachment to and no need for. The cabin is full of such items because when we purchased it, it came with all the stuff the previous owner had no use for.

I carted arm fulls of things to the edge of the road and rather than trying to price everything, I made a single sign. It said “Free”. I pinned it to the makeshift brick and board shelf the items were sitting on, and sat back to see what would happen. My first customer arrived in a pick-up truck. Within minutes she had loaded up the big old TV set that survived the flood, and 4 kitchen chairs that have been made redundant. And so it went all morning. No one could believe that everything was free, and though they probably didn’t need any of the things they took, they just couldn’t resist getting something for nothing. By the end of the day, everything had been taken except….

flower border wooden handlethis fondue pot. Granted, it doesn’t have a lid, and the heat source is missing, but it has a nice wooden handle, and a lovely bouquet of flowers dancing around its belly. Truly, how could those people take home an old rake or an ice bucket disguised like a wooden apple, but leave behind the fondue pot?

I took the pot back into the cabin, washed the dust off, and put it back onto the shelf. I wonder, does everyone have a fondue pot that they never use and that is why I couldn’t give this one away? Or does no one fondue anymore?

Is it Grey or Gray?

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.
-Rachel Louise Carson –

38-wasp-nest

I’d like to give you a hint for this photo, but I can’t think of anything that won’t be a dead giveaway. So you are on your own. What is this a close up photo of?

Macro Photo – A Study in Scarlet Wine Dregs

Don’t be alarmed! This isn’t a photo of blood, but I did think it was interesting that the quotation below discusses scarlet, and in this photo the scarlet ran over a colourless object. No more clues – what is this a photo of?

There’s the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it.
– Holmes, in “A Study in Scarlet”, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The photo is a close up look at dried wine in the bottom of a wine glass!

Quotes about Wine: From the Vintners Cellar