A lot happened at home while I was in Ireland. For one thing, it snowed, and—as you can see in the photo above, which I took in a shady spot in front of the first tee—not all the snow had melted by the time we played on Thursday afternoon. Luckily, the forecast for the weekend is more Irish-sounding: no precipitation to speak of, and highs in the upper fifties.
A second thing that happened while I was out of the country is that several of the guys saw a wolf on our golf course. Hacker (real name) saw it first, and Corey, Gary, Chic, and a couple of other guys saw it, too, They watched it walk from the ninth tee to the far side of the first fairway, and a little later they heard it howl in the woods. We have lots of coyotes around here, and everyone knows what they look and sound like, so they’re positive it wasn’t one of those. We also have lots of dogs (ditto). Wolves have been making their way into New England from Canada in recent years, attracted primarily by our burgeoning population of Lyme-disease-bearing white-tailed deer. The wolves are welcome to all the deer, as far as I’m concerned, although I hope they will continue to spare the almost entirely white piebald fawn that my wife and I have been watching in our yard since mid-summer:
On the golf course, my friends and I have also seen foxes and bears, and I once watched a bobcat circling a flock of nervously gobbling wild turkeys in the middle of the driving range. Nature red in tooth and claw, etc. Talking about the wolf this afternoon made someone suggest that we play a game we often talk about playing but can never quite remember the rules of: Wolf. But we couldn’t quite remember the rules, and we had six guys, so we played 30-Ball instead.
We played kind of slowly, even considering that there were six of us—almost three and a half hours—and it was getting genuinely dark by the time we finished. In just six more weeks, though, the days will begin getting longer again, and once that happens spring will be practically around the corner.