Thursday, September 03, 2009

The Sharp Little Fox

Certain environmental groups have been trying to shut down Sharp Park Municipal Golf Course, which is in the center of the small beach town of Pacifica, claiming that there are endangered species which are being negatively impacted by the golf course.

This has provoked a spirited defense from the mostly working class citizens who actually use the golf course, and they've created a website called the "SF Public Golf Alliance."

Part of the real pleasure for me on this inexpensive muni is the sheer profusion of wildlife that feels comfortable around humans, from huge herons to garter snakes to the fox who kept appearing at various holes on the back nine yesterday.

I'd never really had a chance to be near a fox before, and since I despise zoos and putting animals in cages, getting a chance to watch one in the wild was a rare joy.

Though foxes look more like dogs than cats, there is a distinctly feline element to their movement and the way they were interacting with humans.

"I'm enjoying the view next to the eighteenth green," it seemed to be saying, "so play around me."


Matthew Hubbard said...

I love the wildlife on the golf course. My dad and I would play at the crack of dawn, and we stomped along the fairways (usually in the fairways, anyway) our footfalls would wake the bugs and the barn swallows would fly circles around us to catch their breakfasts.

There were deer on most of the courses I played, and one peninsula course down on 280 had bobcats.

janinsanfran said...

What an awesome set of pics. I want to see a fox!

momo said...

That fox is just lounging around with the crowd! what wonderful pictures. Where I live in Minneapolis, there is a large urban lake, and on walks around it with crowds of people, I have seen bald eagles, otter, and a variety of birds, but no foxes!

tangobaby said...

Look at that beautiful animal! That actually makes me want to consider taking up golfing. Just to see the fox.

shane said...

"since I despise zoos and putting animals in cages, getting a chance to watch one in the wild was a rare joy"

I don't know that I would call the completely unnatural setting of a golf course "wild."

Civic Center said...

Dear shane: There are extremely manicured golf courses in absurd settings out there (see golf in the desert), but the San Francisco muni courses at Lincoln and Sharp are very definitely on the "wild" side.

mw said...

I've played Sharp a few times and enjoy it, but I play Lincoln more frequently. Usually I get out at the crack of dawn and sneak in 9 holes before my wife wakes up. I often see a coyote wandering the fairways there. He (she?) does a better job of controlling the gopher population than the grounds crew.

I've been blogging about the Sharp Park situation for a while now. These are not your run of-the-mill concerned nature lovers trying to destroy the course. The force behind the effort is the Center for Biological Diversity. They are from out of state, believe in an extreme radical agenda called "deep ecology", are well funded, and have a reputation for intimidating municipalities with their high power legal machinations. The give the green movement a bad name.

Civic Center said...

Dear mw: Good job of advocacy. It's not just the Tucson environmentalists who are behind this stupid effort to shut down Sharp and Lincoln Parks, though. It's also a woman named Isabel Wade who runs an organization called The Neighborhood Parks Council. She hates golf and everything associated with it, and is one of the locals spearheading "nature centers" and soccer fields. Of course, because of the hilly topography on both courses, soccer fields would be absurd. At Sharp Park, they would have to take out trees and marshes. At Lincoln Park, they would have to grade the hills, underneath which are thousands of bodies left over from when the land was San Francisco's poor people's cemetery in the 19th century

The Opera Tattler said...

Aw, what a cutie that fox is.