Sunday, May 29, 2011

Guest Book now working!

Hello to all readers.  I FINALLY was able to get my guest book up and running!  I’ve tried several times before but would give up in frustration so I’m happy today to see it working.  Click on the word ‘GUESTBOOK’ just below the owl photo at the top of this page so you can sign in.  I’d love to see who checks the blog and what your thoughts are regarding that day’s topic. 


When the guest page opens, just click on the box that says POST.  Then fill in the info and click on SUBMIT.  Give it a try please and let me know who you are and where you are.


Have a great day!  I’ll be waiting to see some results.





Saturday, May 28, 2011

In the news

I found this article on the web this morning and was surprised to see Palm Creek in the Canadian newspaper.  You can click on the link to read the full article (which is rather lengthy) but I copied the meaty stuff below.

Calgary Herald newspaper


Snowbirds are flocking to the warmth of Arizona in ever-increasing numbers, anxious to find themselves a bargain-priced winter nest.

The Valley of the Sun, with Greater Phoenix as its hub, has always been a popular seasonal retreat for Canadians wanting to escape the vagaries of winter, but the high Canadian dollar coupled with generally depressed U.S. housing markets has hatched another wave of buyers.

Armed with the required documentation from their lenders, Canadians are snapping up properties that in some instances are priced at 50 per cent of their 2005 peak.

Kevin Craig, who works out of the Scottsdale office of Keller Williams Realty, also works with a Calgary company called CanAm Properties LLC (, headed up by Calgary realtor Tom Burk. He says CanAm works specifically with Canadians who are looking to enter the U.S. real estate market either for investment, second homes, or primary residences.

According to Phoenix-area housing industry data, Canadians are now the most active out-of-state real estate purchasers, displacing Californians.

Brown says Canadians ``have been responding to better values'' in the market driven by what economists call distressed properties - either foreclosures or short sales.

While resale activity dominates the housing industry, many Canadians want a newly built home.

Jeff Blandford, president of Blandford Homes which builds in various areas of the valley, says he has seen a lot of Canadian home-buying activity.

``We've had a big influx of Canadians in the last two years, but this year they came earlier and are going home later,'' he says in an Arizona Republic interview. ``And a growing number are coming back to buy a new home. It's a very nice thing that's happened to our industry.''

There is another snowbird housing segment that has shown healthy growth - the RV and mobile home sector.

With more than 44,000 recreational vehicle spaces, Mesa has one of the state's highest concentrations of snowbird vacation sites. A recent article in the Republic reported that 98 per cent of Towerpoint Resort's spaces were filled.

Another, Palm Creek Golf and RV Resort in Casa Grande, had its 1,862 sites fully booked for as long as six weeks.

Palm Creek general manager Wendell Johnson estimates Canadians made up about 35 per cent of the resort's visitors this past winter.

``We've noticed that more of them are coming from Eastern Canada, rather than going to Florida where they traditionally went,'' he says in a Republic interview.

Calgary Herald




Thank you Tom and Kathy Frania for forwarding me this fun entertaining dance video.  I’m inserting it here for everyone to enjoy.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Sharing our Arizona Sunshine

Solar Power


solar 1268

It looks like solar power is on the way to Palm Creek as I saw these trucks around the park this week.  I saw three houses getting prepped for the panels.  These photos are from 1312 and 1268.

solar 1312

solar 1312

solar 1312

It doesn’t take long for installation as when I drove by today, the panels look complete.  I didn’t get to talk to anyone about the process so can’t provide any more info at this point.

Solar 1268

Solar 1268

The park model at Site 1017 also dons a new solar hat to soak up the sun’s energy.

Solar 1017

I’d like to get closer photos of the panels for you BUT…………………..…ain’t no way I’m going up on anybody’s roof.   This will have to do.

While I was straining to get a good view of this roof, I also noticed this devoted mama dove nestled in the big cactus.  Now that’s dedicated.  OUCH!

dove nest 1017

Speaking of soaking up the sunshine:

Have you all seen the little tree lizards that proliferate in the plants and trees around here?  They’re cute as can be and skitter around the bricks and trees like they’re on speed.  They’re a very beneficial visitor as they eat massive amounts of bugs and spiders so be sure to make them feel welcome.  I got a couple close ups of this guy on our palm tree so thought I’d share it along with a little info about them.

Tree lizard

tree lizard


A small, up to 2½ inch (56 mm), black, dark brown, tan, or gray lizard, often with a rusty area at the base of the tail. The ground color of this slim-bodied lizard is broken with a dusky pattern of blotches and/or crossbars. There are two bands of enlarged scales down the middle of the back, separated by a strip of smaller scales. Adult males have bright blue or blue-green belly patches that have a metallic sheen. The color of the throat varies from yellow to green or blue-green. The throat of females can be white, orange, or yellow.


This species occurs from southwestern Wyoming to southern Sinaloa and northern Coahila, Mexico, and from the Colorado River east to central Texas. It is found from sea level to 9000 feet (2770 m).


This arboreal lizard most commonly lives in riparian zones in mesquite, alder and cottonwood, but it also is found on non-riparian oak, pine, and juniper. The tree lizard is also found on some non-native trees such as eucalyptus and tamarisk, and in some treeless areas; it is often very abundant on granite boulder piles. Color and pattern serve it well in avoiding detection by would-be predators.

Life History

The tree lizard eats insects and spiders. It reproduces 1 to 6 times per year, laying 2 to 13 eggs per clutch from March through August.



Every day brings new surprises when you drive around the park with camera in hand.  I invited Connie Morin to tour with me this morning and here are some awesome discoveries from this morning’s safari:

Freeman cactus 166

Freeman cactus 166

Freeman cactus 166

I haven’t met Lewis and Estelle Freeman (site 166) but if you know them, please direct them here to the blog so they can enjoy their plant in bloom.

And…………………..look at this beautiful display at site 192. 

Joan and Frenchy 192 cactus

We were so awestruck by this pincushion cactus, that we knocked on the door to chat with the owners…..Frenchy and Joan.  They planted this cactus when it was just a small round ball about 9 years ago.  Fantastic!

Joan and Frenchy 192 cactus

Joan and Frenchy 192 cactus  Frenchy and Joan don’t have a computer but next time you chat with them, let them know you saw them on the blog.

Cadwell cactus 1059

This is the second time this plant at Bob and Lucy Cadwell’s has burst into bloom this season.

Last week I posted the cactus at Marlene Thurlow’s house because it had one pretty blossom.  Here’s what it looked like this morning!

Thurlow cactus 1052

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Irrigation System

For the next two weeks, our maintenance/golf course crew will be renovating the irrigation system on the front 9 holes of the course.  I could see holes being dug but curiosity got the best of me so with camera in hand, I wandered over for a closer look.  My gosh golly….this is NOT an easy quick project!  Just digging the holes deep enough is one chore but then all the pipe fitting is another subject.  Take a close look at these photos. 

irrigation blog

irrigation blog

irrigation blog

irrigation blog

Again, I wish I could speak Spanish so I could chat with the crew a little easier.  They’re always so friendly and are certainly hard workers.  I can’t imagine digging those holes in the good old Arizona soil.


These gents did a fantastic job at cleaning out the creek beds!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Check out the results of their labor.

creek blog

creek blog

Clean creek blog

clean creek blog


Other tidbits from around the park:

Karen Cowden at Site 987 has some strange plants in her yard that bloom every year.  See what you folks miss when you leave us before the spring bloom?


Speaking of strange plants….check out this one!  It looks like it grew out of a basketball.

Meadows 1840 blog

Tevy and Alice Black planted a new lemon tree this year that is trying its best to make them proud.  It has a good start at bearing fruit.

Black 1631

Roses in the rose garden are about done but this one was still smiling.

creek blog



Monday, May 23, 2011

Bird Brain

We sometimes use the term “bird brain” for someone who is a french fry short of a Happy Meal, but if you watch our feathered friends closely like us bird watchers, you see some very interesting learned behavior.


This male finch has learned that if he lands on the hummingbird feeder hard enough, the juice will splash up into the ports so he can manage to lap up some of the sweet stuff.  I managed to catch him on camera today although the film is taken through my kitchen window screen.  It’s clear enough that you can see what the “bird brain” is doing.  The little guy does this periodically throughout the day…..every day….day after day.  I think he’s addicted to sweets.  click on this title to see the video

Finch at Feeder

Friday, May 20, 2011

June Newsletter

I read an article in a computer magazine that says it’s easier to just photograph a paper instead of scanning it so thought I’d give it a try.  It is a lot faster, but I can’t say that the quality is as good.  Anyway…………….if you click on each image, it will get big enough for you to read.  Since the park isn’t posting summer newsletters on their website, I thought I’d attach them here so you will be envious of all the fun we’re having while you are away in the cold rainy weather.  Tee hee hee.  cartoon_devil


IMG_2812     This page explains more of how/why the crews are cleaning the creek.  Pictures are posted from a day or two ago.  Summer projects include the creek beds, the irrigation system on the front 9, and sandblasting and repainting the rails on the bridges.



















IMG_2813    June 19 we’re having dinner from Tom’s BBQ.  June 28 is a pizza lunch and May 30 is Memorial day BBQ with pork steaks.

Some of the tomatoes are starting to ripen so they will be available for residents on a first come/first serve basis up at the front desk.  Check daily.  Please pick up at the front desk rather than going to the gardens as we want to preserve the plants and not let them get damaged.

IMG_2814    We’ll be having summer bingo on June 6 and July 18.  Flo wants me to try my hand at being the caller so we’ll see how that goes.  Never a dull moment, I’m sure.   ----    I’m anxious to see that Palm Creek cook book!  I’ll be one of the first ones up there to get my copy after July 1.


IMG_2815    Oh boy!  Free food!  All Palm Creek residents are invited for a fresh hot breakfast at Chick-fil-A on June 16.  The menu sounds great.  We’ve eaten there for lunch before but not breakfast so this will be a fun morning. 


This morning we enjoyed a delicious breakfast served by the summer special events team.  Linda Balzan worked her culinary magic again and whipped up some baked omelets.  We had fresh fruit, muffins, donuts, and beverages.  Yum!  It was a fun time and the 58 attendees hung around over a second cup of coffee to chat and get acquainted with a few new summer residents. 



Breakfast  That’s a lot of melon to cut and prep!

Breakfast   Here’s the assembly line ready to dish up on plates.

Breakfast  Rex was readying the OJ.

Breakfast  Guests waiting to be served.

Breakfast  Let’s eat!


After the dishes are done, there is still work to do.  Fold napkins and get the tables ready for the next event. 



Thursday, May 19, 2011


Believe it or not, we actually had RAIN yesterday.  Well…..actually it was a heavy mist or a light sprinkle but to us it is precipitation and thus we call it rain.  There wasn’t enough moisture to form a puddle so I could take a picture, but I do have evidence of raindrops as proven in this photo of our car.  See the spots in the dust?  That’s proof of rain!

rain car



These are the first cloudy skies we’ve seen in a long time!

The merry month of May means flower season when we live in the desert.  There certainly are some beauties blooming around the park but you have to find them fast because they don’t last long.  Here are a couple samples I found today and yesterday.

cactus 1670      cactus 1670  This little guy was blooming at 1670 on Coyote Trail.  This site is notorious for having the big cactus that lay on the ground and burst forth in their big white blossoms.  Well…..this little guy is planted on the end of that row so today he was strutting his own special color.  Very pretty!  If you know the folks from 1670, please send them an email to show them these photos.  Wouldn’t want them to miss the bloom.

IMG_2725  We spotted this little guy at 1803 on Oasis Drive. 

Thurlow 1052       Thurlow 1052 I’ve never seen a cactus quite like this one either.  This bundle is proudly owned by Will and Marlene Thurlow at Site 1052.  There was only one bloom but it certainly is a dandy.

IMG_2652  Here is another odd character.  Only one flower opens at a time as you can see at the very top but the stem sure has a lot of buds and old blooms.  It’s also strange how the long tall stem now seems to be splitting into two arms at the top.  Guess that’s what makes cactus plants so interesting.


Here is another rare beauty at Site 489.  LOTS of beautiful blooms!

Cactus 489

    Cactus 489      Cactus 489


Our landscape crews are hard at work cleaning out the creek that runs through the resort and it is definitely NOT an easy chore.  All the mud and sediment has to be removed and then they’re pressure washing the area to clean it out.  Since this creek connects to the big ponds/lakes along the course, it pays to keep them clean.

landscape creek


landscape creek


landscape creek

Construction of new homes continues.  The view on Shimmering Sands Lane way up at the north end of the park will be dramatically changed.  A month or so ago, it was completely empty.  Now there are three houses and I understand that the remaining three sites will soon be occupied by spec homes plus another hole is being readied across the street.

1245 street