27 June 2015

Golf and tennis? Forest succession and water tables? - it's a matter of time horizon

Looking toward the outdoor seating of the clubhouse at the golf and tennis country club with a view of the long narrow Lake Leelanau, there is a certain feeling of contrast between the business of leisure sport on carefully tended grounds and the therapeutic separation from one's working routines on the one hand, and the rhythms and structures that organize the rest of the plants and animals that share these spaces on land and water. The humans live one golf or tennis season to the next, concerned with providing a level of service and model for business that keeps things solvent from one generation of owners and members to the next. But in the much longer sweep of time, in geological or glacial age time frame of 10,000 years, the daily business decisions and the weekly grooming of grounds and buildings have little impact on the shape of the land and the flow of water, the action of freeze-thaw cycles and the prevailing pattern of winds that deposit the next generation of seed in shade or sun, leading to another cycle of birth and decay. And so, when looking at the pleasing care of the grass and pavement, as well as savoring what is offered on the menu, it is salutatory to zoom out to a wider point of reference and see that the life cycle of the trees and the generations of fish and frogs operate by entirely different directions, all the while intersecting the concerns of the people who keep the golf and tennis facilities in tip-top shape each outdoor season.

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