Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Road Work and a BUG

There is always something new to watch around the park these days.  Today there is a crew doing road work and patching.  First a truck slowly drives by with a strong air hose blowing away the dust from any potential places that will need repair.
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Then another crew follows behind with a truck that puts out the tar while three more guys brush it into the cracks to seal them. 
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We have quite a few miles of roadway within the park and these guys are walking every step of the way while they brush the tar under the beautiful Arizona full sunshine and 100 degree temp.  Whew!!!!  It’s no wonder they want to start in the early morning.  I try to remind our residents of that when I hear someone complain that the crews awaken them too early in the mornings.
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We had a very pleasant surprise this morning when we looked out the kitchen window.  A young praying mantis came to rest on our screen.  I’ve seen quite a few of them in the shrubs and flower garden but today’s guest was a special gift.  Back in the old days when we owned a large home in Ohio, our yard was actually sanctioned as a Wildlife Habitat area by the Audubon Society as we had so many flowers, plants, feeders, ponds, for our furred and feathered friends.  We bought mantis egg cases from the internet and placed them in our yard to help with the insects.  We got some awesome photos back then.
Today’s guest:
Our Ohio friends from days of yore:
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Cool pictures, aren’t they??  Not bad for an amateur photographer like me….if I do say so myself.

Monday, September 27, 2010

More Work Photos

I saw more action up at the front entrance to the park this week so had to stop for some photos.  Looks like we have some bushes for those front entrance planters and colorful flowers will be placed in front.  Lots of work goes into preparing a bed for planting. 

Fustino from our PC landscape crew prepared and planted the front beds all by himself!
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The front nine is completed.  We saw skids of seed bags strategically placed along the route and noticed that they had to cover all the new sand traps before seeding. 
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It was fascinating to learn the intricate process involved with seeding the greens and tee boxes.  To assure a proper dispersal of seed, the path of the spreaders is marked with paint to assure that no area is missed.  Then they go in the opposite direction, and again diagonally.  If you zoom in and look closely at these next two photos, you’ll see the marks on the ground.
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Next comes the watering process.  Water. Water. Water.
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We had a different  crew of tree monkeys to watch this week.  This crew debarked the palms.  I stopped and asked why as I wanted to be sure about the info.  The trees are skinned for appearance.  Yes, it also helps eliminate insects, but the primary reason is for appearance and neatness.  In addition to trimming higher on the trees along Oasis, they also skinned the trees at the rose garden.
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Remember the new tree in front of the office entrance that I showed a few days ago??  (Hong Kong Orchid).  My chief photographer (Bill Wrightson) got some action shots of it being planted.  Thought you might enjoy seeing the process.
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Had to measure the tree and the hole to make sure it was deep enough.
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That’s a big tree with a HEAVY dirt ball around it.
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Now measure to make certain it is exactly centered in the planter.
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Final results!  Whew!
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As well as planting trees, Fernando is quick on the trigger to remove any trees that are in the way or that aren’t growing well.  A few palms have seen their demise.
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Any day now I’m expecting to see truck loads of flowers arrive.  Last year they placed a whole herd of flats of beautiful flowers in the parking lot by the Street of Dreams until they could be planted.  It’s quite overwhelming to see them all in one area.  The front entrance is being prepped with new underground sprinkler systems and I have people on alert to let me know when they arrive so we have camera in hand.
That’s my update for today.  If I make a post too large, it takes FOREVER to upload and publish.  I bid you farewell for another day.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More Happenings

The crews are in high gear getting ready for your return.  I went down Oasis today and saw a crew trimming the trunks of all the palm trees.  The trees get “skinned” down to bare bark….I think to minimize insects and improve appearance.    
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Another tree on the 7th fairway was removed for the benefit of the golfers.  Bill says it will make them happy.
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We’re also getting new plants outside the front office entrance.  Very nice improvement!
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Plus a nice big Hong Kong Orchid Tree was placed in the big round planter by the front doors.  It is supposed to get beautiful big flowers.  
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I also saw another new park model home placed on site 456 with a nice “sold” sign in the window.  Congratulations to the new owners…whoever they may be.
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Here’s the nice paving stones by the entrance to #1 at the golf course.  More landscaping is planned in this area.
housewatch 005  I find it exciting and entertaining to just hop in the golf cart with camera in hand.  Ya never know what we’ll come across to share with you.
It was interesting to watch a motor home with mechanical problems being picked up for repair so we watched as it was loaded onto a truck. 
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We also made a visit to the new Chick-Fill-A restaurant located at the mall.  It is located very near Eye Masters so the parking is a little tricky….but that may be just because there were so many people present for the grand opening. 
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One more subject before I leave you for this post:  Spiders!!   Some people opt not to have an exterminator come to spray their site during summer.  I approached one of my housewatch places and just backed away until I could go home to get a big broom or something to clear the way.  I tried to get a close up shot of just one corner of the entranceway.  The door was so thick with spider webs in just one month…there was no way I was going to open that door in its present condition.
housewatch 001 Need a good person for the job???  Hire Wade Paupst from Sunstate Pest Control.  He has rescued me on several occasions when I come across a nest of bees, stray scorpions in someone’s home, ants that have invaded a cupboard, or in this case spiders!  He charges $15 per month or $150 for a full year (that includes 2 free months).  He has always returned my calls promptly and always comes on time.
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Thank you one and all for coming to read “The Blog”. 

Last Summer bingo

Last night was the last summer session of Bingo.  We can tell that folks are returning to Palm Creek as we had a much larger crowd than previous summer sessions.  It was fun to see familiar faces walk through the door and watch all the hugs as they greeted other friends who were happy to see them again.  This is an exciting time of year for us “creekers”.

I must give another tribute and thank you to Flo Fillipi for all the work she has done for bingo.  Her dedication to the weekly event has brought fun and entertainment to thousands of people over the years.  People don’t realize all the work that is involved behind the scenes of bingo.  There are reports to file with the state bureau, supplies to be inventoried and purchased, volunteers to call to assure proper staffing, be there early to set up the room, stay late to assure everything is put away and cleaned up, keep financial records, trips to the bank for correct change, drawing up the game sheets and getting copies, putting up signs around the park, put up with the hassle of those folks who forget their badge and want to be an exception to the rule, be sure the kitchen is staffed, etc etc etc.


Two rules for bingo: 

1.  WEAR YOUR NAME TAG.  Don’t expect to be an exception just because we know who you are.  Rules are rules.

2.  BRING SMALL BILLS TO BUY YOUR TICKETS.  The money we take in at the door goes to pay the prizes.  If you bring a $100 bill, we’re stuck.  Please plan ahead.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More from Bill

The landscape crew wanted to thank Bill for his dedication and help with the “hydration station” during the hot dusty work days so surprised him with a birthday cake and luncheon.
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After lunch it’s back to work.  Pictures show the progress, but you must realize that all this work is being done in triple digit temperatures….and some days over 110!  That’s HOT.  In fact, they had to take the hoods off some of the mowers to prevent them from over heating.
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Every tree gets a haircut!  Before----
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and After---
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Remember those two annoying pine trees to the left of #8 that all the golfers complained about??

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   Well, they’re history now. 
    Thank you, Fernando.


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   A bulldozer made short work of the root ball.

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  Now to clean up the mess and plant the grass.

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  The sites across the street from #8 were smothered with debris so Fernando & crew grabbed the blowers and cleaned up the majority of the mess.

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The golf course isn’t the only place being renovated.  The lawn bowling court is undergoing improvement as well.  The wood around the perimeter is being replaced this summer…..and, of course, the grass is scalped and will be reseeded.
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