Friday, May 26, 2017

MEMORAIL DAY UPDATE:

Rain, Rain and more Rain.   Maybe it's because we have been spoiled the past few years but it seems like we have had a lot of rainy days.  Yesterday was miserable, a slow drizzle all day but we only had .32 inches.  I thought good, we should be fine for today.  When I drove through the course I realized that we must have had a pretty good storm roll through late last night.   Another .52 inches in the rain gauge and the course is soaked.   So much for being in great shape for the holiday weekend.   Cart path only for today.  Let's hope the weather pattern shifts and we start to get some more summer type weather.   Once the course does dry out we should be back to normal.  Believe it or not it won't be long before we are hand watering again.  

The putting green is still on the new side even though this is the start of the third season.  We probably pushed it a little too hard for this time of year.  The cold days are not helping either.   We have had it tested for disease and fertility and its fine.  I think in a couple of weeks of letting it grow
 a little and giving it some tender loving care we should be fine.   

Our North American Bird count went well.   We found 44 different species this year.   A Yellow-Billed Cuckoo was a nice surprise.  I have only seen them here once before.  He was too fast for me to get a good picture. 

Blue Birds are always nice to see.   Sitting in the sun shows his colors. 






We have 40 nest boxes on the course.  5 have Blue Birds nesting in them.   Chicks are getting big!!!


 









Why are we watering with all the rain?  We applied a crabgrass control product in our roughs.  In order for the product to be effective it needs to be moved to the soil.  With the new irrigation system we are able to water just the roughs and just long enough to get it to where we want it.  
The Black Swallow- Tail recently hatched that was saved from last year.   
We kept the chrysalis in a cool dry place over the winter tying to mimic mother nature.   Nice to see it worked!!!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY

1.60 Inches of rain yesterday has the course good and soaked.   The forecast for next week is more promising with temps in the mid 80's and no rain for the next few days.    Good-thing,  we need to dry out.   With this forecast it will be all hands on deck just getting the grass mowed.

Big Day for the Kitchen and House staff.   Carmin is busy setting up the tables getting ready for the Mothers Day Dinners.   Looks like a great day ahead.  


Algae is looking a little bit better. 
Course is looking better now that the trees are dressed in leaves.  
Not sure why, but for some reason we have more poison Ivy in our native areas than usual.  If you are like me you avoid it at all costs.  We have been spraying it as soon as we see it.  There is an old saying "leaves of three let it be. Leaves of five let it thrive".   A real good native plant is called Virginia Creeper and has five leaves.   If not sure the best bet is to avoid anything that resembles poison ivy.   If you see some on the course let me or another staff member know and we will remove it.   
These are from the right of 16 fairway and are maple seedling.  A poison Ivy copy cat.  
This is Porcelain Berry one of the most invasive plants we have.  We remove it as soon as we see it.  Of course the best bet is to keep it in the Fairway  :-)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

PLAYING HOOKY----FOR A GOOD REASON

You didn't see me on the course last Friday for a good reason.   I was attending a summit sponsored by United Airlines and Audubon International.  They are in the beginning stages of starting a Raptor relocation project.   I knew birds and airplanes do not mix but didn't know how many or the different species that were of concern.   Raptors in particular are a problem at airports and they are looking for areas to release them.   Golf to the rescue.  The program is just getting started but our first meeting was a huge success.    I am really honored that Rockland and I can be a part of saving these great birds.   Look for more information as this program gets started.


Pictured from left to right:   Christine Kane, Executive Director Audubon International,  Mr. Jim Jones, Volunteers for Wildlife,  Mr Tim Connolly,  Golf Course Superintendent, TPC Jasna Polana (and our host)  Mr. Aaron Stash, Senior Strategist Environmental Sustainability United Airlines, Ms. Mikki Viehoever, Wildlife Biologist Airport Operations Seattle - Tacoma Int'l Airport and Mr. Jeff Kolodzinski, Senior Wildlife Biologist Aviation Department, John F. Kennedy International Airport.  

Saturday, April 29, 2017

FINISHING UP APRIL

We have had the April showers, now its time for the May flowers.    I have had a lot of questions regarding the color and patchy-ness of the greens.  First off-- nothing to worry about.  It is not a disease or winter damage it is just the different types of grass and the way they grow during colder weather.   Our golf course is over 100 years old.  Can you Imagine what kind of Tomatoes were planted 100 years ago?   The evolution of Tomatoes is similar to the evolution and breeding of Turf grass.   Obviously there is a big variation in Tomatoes just like our grasses.   Below is a picture of our putting green.  The bright green grass is from plugs that we took off our nursery.  You can see smaller spots that are starting to appear.  This is Poa that is spreading in to our green.  One of the many different Bio-types of grasses currently growing in our greens.  Other areas such as our 15th green are different types of Bent grass.  The patchy-ness of 15 is due to the severe winter damage we had three years ago.   The bent grass that you see survived. Other grasses did not.  This particular grass type is slow to wake up in the spring.  resulting in different colors.  

A larger view of our putting green.


We are planting the new mounds to the right of the new 13 tee with native grasses and flowers.  This berm was installed to hide the tennis courts.

It will take some time but in the long run this will become a nice addition to the course.




Their is more Algae in our pond then we would like.   I am watching it closely.   I am hoping it is because our weed eating fish woke up later than usual and haven't started eating.   If the algae persists we may have to use chemical control.  I hope not.  It is expensive and we have not had to resort to chemicals in many years