Mother Nature’s Rule: One animal’s loss is another’s gain.
A few years ago, Golfers in Cannon Falls had been going stir crazy for waiting for the Cannon River to recede. The record floods of the summer of 2010 had a devastating affect on anyone who lived or worked near the rivers and streams that feed it in south central Minnesota. Golf courses had suffered their fair share but recovered quickly and with much less permanent damage than home and business owners.
Cannon Country Club was once again open for play. The Cannon River was receding quickly and the maintenance crew had done a wonderful job cleaning-up the course. Now it was Mother Nature’s turn to dry up the pools of standing water left in the low spots. After “The Flood” instruction had been given from the pro shop, “No carts on the course and winter rules until further notice.” Cups were placed on the high spots and most sand bunkers were played as ground under repair. The River, with most of the red stakes still under water or now floating in the Mississippi, was played as casual water. The men’s league drew the normal large crowd, minus only those who were physically unable to walk the muddy course.
An observant member of the first group off, wearing a wide brimmed hat and Maui Jim sunglasses, noticed a loan eagle circling just over the tree tops a few holes away. Seeing an eagle along the river was nothing unusual but this beautiful symbol of America’s freedom was acting strangely. The eagle would disappear behind the trees for several minutes then appear above the trees circling, focused on something on the ground. The golfer in the Maui Jim’s brought the eagle to the attention of the group as they made their way closer, hole by hole.
Again and again the majestic bird would disappear below the trees for a minute or two only to re-appear intent on something below the tree line. As our group pushed their carts through the damp and sometimes slimy fairways around the blind dogleg, there was the eagle flapping its mighty wings with something in its talons but unable to get air born.
As our wet-footed foursome approached a small pool of standing water only a few inches deep, the Maui Jim guy was first to see it. A huge carp, 8 lbs or more, wounded but still seeking escape from the shrinking watery prison, where his smaller stranded friends had already become bird food. Mr. wide brim tip-toes into the shallow water and pulled the badly scared carp out of the water. The un-mistakable bloody wounds made by razor sharp talons were a testament to the struggle that had taken place. The fish had no escape. Mother Nature Rules: One animal’s loss is another’s gain.