Pests have reappeared after a long winter, after having had some respite over the winter it seems that the usual pests and diseases are reappearing.
Over the last couple of weeks, a large two-legged specimen has been prevalent on the ground. It may have wintered, unseen and undisturbed somewhere in the club house as it invariably approaches from that sort of habitat. It is rarely seen unless conditions are considered to be ‘match fit’ when it can become a real nuisance.
Its habit seems to be to congregate on any area of prepared grass, and stand for a while like a TV pundit looking for a job. They then proceed to prod and poke the ground, with no apparent reason. Satisfied that it has ascertained conditions to add to the undoubted knowledge it has accumulated over the years.
Everyone’s a Expert or Not
Obviously, it can now produce a definitive opinion on the condition and behaviour of the said grass patch, because it seems to immediately call for others of a similar ilk to join the assembly at which time, what appears to some sort fertility rite, takes place.
There is much walking up and down and pointing at the grass together with stamping and swinging of arms. It is as though they are holding some sort of weapon, which is always swung in an arc towards the opposite end of the pitch. Some will leave the prepared area and start making short runs from either end and finishing with little jumps and much wind milling of arms.
I believe the proper name for this species, which incidentally can appear at times in brightly coloured plumage, is ‘wannabetestplayer’, but the local name around here from years gone by is’crapwithabat’.
We have yet to find a suitable treatment for this invasive species. Providing such things as cages with an area of prepared grass for them to occupy rarely seems to alleviate the wanderlust for long. Once they seem to reach what we have come to call ‘play’ mode they take to marking their territory with great ‘v’s an’x’s or parallel lines with their feet.
The reason for this strange ritual is lost on most right thinking groundstaff and no credible answer has yet been forthcoming from those experts closest to the species.
The best deterrent so far seems to be a dose of ‘groundsman’s ire’ although at times can be a bit slow to take effect. If one can creep up close enough, with say a cricket stump, one may be able to demonstrate where one will fit other than at the with two others at the end of the pitch.
Sad to say so far, I have not been able to get close enough to demonstrate the effectiveness of such a treatment. The species seems to have an uncanny knack of determining my intentions well before I am within range.
So back to the weekly slog but the next course of cpd is on sharpening said cricket stump. You never know might get lucky one day!
David Attenborough, sorry Stu (Dormansland CC) or some call me Grumpy not quite sure why.
Thanks Stu for this FUN piece of observational humour and all you and your volunteers do for your club.
Ps- Was it only me who though the blog was about real turf pests till half way through!
If you enjoyed this fun read why not take a look at our community hub, for more blogs like this – https://turfcareblog.com/community-bloggers/