Thursday, April 14, 2011

The First Tee ~ Golfing ~ Rabbits ~ Ground Squirrels ~ Egret ~ Turtles ~ Hawk ~ Singing birds

We have visited the First Tee golf course in Palm Desert, California many times and enjoy this 9 hole course for a fun golfing day.  For those of us who have limited golfing skills but enjoy the experience without the pressure of a big course, this is the one.  And for those with better skills, the course still has its’ challenges with ponds and sand traps.

The First Tee Golf Course ~ Palm Desert, California

What more could we ask for when we have this beautiful view to enjoy?  The snowcapped Santa Rosa and San Jacinta mountains in the distance, the blue sky and sunshine and the serenity of this little golf course with the birds enjoying the pond. 

Rabbits at the First Tee Golf Course

There is no need to book a time here, we just wait in line, if necessary, to play our game. We’d sure like to keep the First Tee a secret but it appears that the word has gotten out there! It has gotten busier over the years of our visits but we rarely have to wait for long.The bunnies nibble the grass a few feet from our green.
Turtle on Palm Desert golf course

The course is next to a ‘wash’ and is likely the reason why we meet so many new ‘friends’ every time we’re here.  Today was a bit busier with visits from some we hadn’t seen up close before, including this turtle.  I was lucky to get this picture, his visit was short.
Note:  the 'wash' is the area for natural drainage, left free of construction to carry the water that runs during the occasional heavy rainfall.

Ground squirrels in shade at First Tee Golf Course

It is great to share the course with our furry and feathered friends and they do seem to be oblivious to most of us and carry on with their daily chores.  They are not begging for food so they have not been fed by those golfing, and that is a good thing.  The ground squirrels have scurried over to the shade in case they need to hide.

Hawk watching for lunch in Palm Desert, CA

We’ve never seen the hawk here before but he would be watching the wash closely to see what he’d like for lunch.  He was a long ways up in the tree, making it difficult to get a clear photo but this sure gives him a great viewpoint to watch the activity from.

Ground squirrel on the grassy golf course in Palm Desert, CA

I did use my zoom for this photo but he really was not far away as I lay down on the grass to get this picture.  He was keeping an eye on me as I was between him and his shady retreat but he wasn’t too nervous at all.  He is about 30 cm (12”) long and lives in burrows he has made on the hillside of the wash, each squirrel has his own entrance, even if they live together.

Egret with her young at golf course

We had not seen an egret at this pond before but this one seems to have a young one and had stayed here for a few weeks, teaching him to fly.  Our last visit they were not there, so the young one was strong enough to fly to their normal habitat, wherever that may be.

The birds can hide their nests in the marshes that fill parts of the ponds on the golf course and sing their hearts out while we golf nearby. I am sure they have some babies in there, too, but have yet to notice any. Click on the video to hear the singing birds.

The First Tee Golf Course ~ Palm Desert, CA

I am sure it is easy to understand why we enjoy this small golf course so much.  We had very few others golfing with us when we first began golfing at this course but over time that has changed.  The great thing is that it hasn’t chased away the little furry ones that live in the wash nearby and visit the grass to nibble on or others that go for a swim in the pond.  We can only hope that it stays this way and these furry friends don’t chase us away from our favorite golf course!


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