Monterey Viewpoint

MYCC Pond Adventures


Everyone is familiar with Harry Kruff’s intimate relationship with the ponds at Monterey, with a fall into the fourth hole pond, and then another fall into the first hole pond.

Well, Harry is not alone and the much younger Chuck also took a tumble into a Monterey pond. After hitting a terrible 5th hole tee shot into the water at the far right side (near the green), where the fairway slops severely down to the water. Mr. Bessey, not having a ball retriever, and lacking good judgment, leaned over on that steep slope with a 5 iron as his retrieval instrument of choice, in an effort to get his ball. Stretching, stretching and stretching some more in his effort, you guessed it - head over heels into the pond! Completely submerged and covered in slimy water, Bessey scrambled out of the water and back up the slippery slope. Laughing so hard he could hardly catch his breath, when he realize not only was his cell phone ruined, but he had dropped the 5 iron in the water. So, back down the precarious slope to retrieve the 5 iron, and back up the slippery slope to dry land. After the laugher subsided some, he realized his glasses where missing! Yep, back down into the pond he ventured, proceeding very carefully and feeling his way he fortunately located his intact glasses. Needless to say he did not finish the round and swore never to venture near a pond again. Thank heaven for Smitty!!

It is All in Your Viewpoint

Joe-GolfOne day in January of 1960 some friends and I were playing golf at the Ludlow Country Club, located in Ludlow, (near Springfield) Massachusetts. The weather had been in the brisk 20 and 30 degree range for several weeks. This day was nice and warm with the temperature in the low 40s As we arrived at the second hole, a par 5 dog leg right around the lake some forty feet below the ground level, we observed several men ice fishing on the frozen lake.There were also quite a few young people ice skating on the lake. We each hit our tee shots and start walking down the fairway. At this point one of our group said," look at those damn fools ice fishing on the lake". At the very same time I heard one of the kids that were ice skating say," look at those damn fools playing golf up there". I am sure that many of those reading this will believe that both statements were correct.

The Sluice Gate

Rhody Smith was excited early this morning when encountering other people out walking.  It had rained during the night, so Rhody, who is directly connected to pond number four anyway, decided to follow the overflow just for the fun of it.

You could, too, if you want a lesson in drainage.  

 First you locate the sluice gate at the corner of the pond where Building 48 and 49 both end.  Never noticed it?  The colorful bushes behind it detract the eye, and also provide a barrier, but if you look over from the red tees, you can see it.  Walk  along the edge of the pond.  (Don’t get too close. You don’t want to be one of those careless types who fall into ponds.)  There it is, a wooden gate with an open pipe, the overflow from the pond flowing into it.

The pipe runs underground toward the road and underneath both the public road and the Monterey roadway leading to the Yacht Club.  Rhody had stopped and looked down through the grate near Building 48 and had seen the water flowing.  Same thing at the next grate on the other side of the gate right near Palm City Road.  Then he’d stopped and looked down into each of the three grates along our private roadway, and at the time of Rhody’s investigation, the water was flowing along, maintaining the level of Pond #4.

At the end, the roadway goes down the boat ramp next to the Yacht Club, with a grate at the end from which the overflow flows into the river. 

So that’s why Rhody’s walk took a bit longer this morning and why we got a cheerful  little lesson in Civil Engineering.



Ten years ago, when June Beyman allowed a friend to move into her home temporarily, she unexpectedly opened a door to a whole new pattern of life - because it so happened that this friend was a bird watcher.  On weekends the two of them would spend most of the day outdoors.  The Akron metropolitan area, with its thirteen parks and inviting hike-and-bike trails, provided a lush background for nature lovers - and for birds - and June began her habit of keeping lists.  In Florida later that year June signed on for a four-day boat trip to the Dry Tortugas, a series of islands southwest of Key West, where the living conditions were primitive, but the spring migration of warblers was passing through.

After five years of watching, June began taking pictures of birds, and, with the help of her daughter, who taught her about scrap-booking, has built up a book containing all her own photos of 175 species of birds.  It is nothing unusual for June, carrying her Kodak with the 12 Zoom, to stay outdoors eight hours at a stretch.  Visiting in Arizona, she added fifty new birds to her list and twenty-five in Oregon.  Her Life List, now numbering 440, just keeps getting longer.

Most of her birding, however, is done right here Martin County, or around her hometown of Akron, Ohio, or around Raleigh, North Carolina, where her daughter lives.  She is particularly attracted to the Boynton Beach Water Treatment Plant, Wakatahatchee, whose boardwalk is a major attraction for photographers. Another favorite trip is to Crane Creek during the second week in May for the Spring migration in Ohio.

Bird counting is now a special interest, and June has taken part in both the Christmas and the Spring counts in Ohio, N. Carolina, and Florida.  These official bird counts, by species and by number, are done throughout the country during the three weeks around Christmas and during three weeks in April.

For June, bird watching has provided an additional dimension to life with most gratifying results.  When traveling anywhere in the world, there is the sight seeing, and then there are the birds.  When staying in Russia, admiring a grand hotel, she had the sudden pleasure of seeing a different looking bird flying overhead and recognized it as a Wag Tail.  On the canals of Amsterdam, she spied a Coot and a Great Blue Heron.  Any day, at any time, she might feel the unexpected thrill of spotting some spectacular bird - or of coming face to face with the most fascinating people just watching the birds.

The Monterey Ponds

CourseThe most noticed of Monterey’s landscaping attractions, except for the golf course, is the series of ponds located picturesquely near the outskirts of Monterey.  Besides eliciting tremors from golfers and wreaking havoc on their scores, the ponds are the barometer of rainfall concerns among Monterey’s residents, and their comparative height continually brings forth automatic responses of satisfaction or concern.
“Have you ever seen the ponds so low?”  “Look how high the ponds are!”

If you want to find out about the ponds, talk to Bill Ettenger, who has maintained an interest in the ponds and is savvy to all the events and attempts to affect them through the years and to enhance their esthetic value.

The ponds, originally referred to as lakes, were engineered and built during construction of the property and are interconnected.  The flow is counter clockwise from #8, where a pump sends the water through piping over to #5.

At pond #5, water goes over a weir located at the end of the wooden pier near the roadway, over to pond #4.  From there it flows to #3, then the small pond at #2 green, then back to #8.  Pond #1 was once connected to the others, but the pipe has long since closed up, and it has been on its own ever since.

The sluice gate on pond #4, which was completely re-built a few years ago, adjusts the height of water in all the ponds except #5.  As Rhody Smith noticed following an overnight rain a few days ago, the overflow from the sluice gate is piped under the public road and Monterey’s private road to the river.

When heavy rainfall drains water from the roadways and fills the ponds, the flow can reverse depending on the amount of rain.

Pond #5 poses a problem in perception of the water’s height, since the water table in both #4 and #5 is the same, but the level of the land is higher at pond #5.

Bill can offer solutions.  One is to line pond #5 with a membrane to retain the water.  Another is to eliminate the part of the pond near the entrance and up a ways along Building 1.  Then you could run a pipe from pond #5 to the weir, and it would overflow and continue to work.

The ponds of Monterey, utterly useless otherwise, serve us in many ways as topics of conversation along with beautifying the landscape and providing golfer’s with a interesting challenge.  Where or where would we be without our ponds?