Thursday, April 24, 2014

Aerating the Golf Course ... and "It's a Boy"

Valerie Chavez (the pretty young lady that worked at the front desk for several years) had a baby boy Tuesday morning.  Julio Junior will be known as JJ and arrived at 21 1/2 inches and weighed 9 pounds.  Congratulations to Valerie and family!
Whoa (again).  Made Don stop for another cactus bloom.  This one is quite unique because the flower comes out directly from the end of the stem.  We're lucky to have so many different kind of cactus plants within our park.
We came upon Nina Fields and her two pups while out on rounds.  We stopped to chat for a while and then laughed when we saw the dogs taking advantage of some shade.
How clever that they found the shade of our golf cart.  Cute!!!
Nina and Jim raise race horses and sometimes enter them at the track up in Phoenix.  I asked her to send me some photos and info so we can cheer them on next season.
We spied all the little colorful flags all over the golf course.  These mark where the sprinkler heads are located so our machinery doesn't accidently hit them.
I called upon Wikipedia for more information:  Aerification is merely a short-term disruption that has long-term benefits for golf courses. When you see them, remember that without those little holes, the greens would eventually die.
Preventative maintenance is an integral part of successful golf course management. Golfers view aerification as an inconvenience that takes the greens out of play for a day, pulling cores from the greens and leaving holes that can affect putting for many days before healing. To add insult to injury, aerification is best done in many part of the country during mid-summer, at the height of the playing season and when most greens are in prime condition.  But a golfer needs to understand how important aerification is to producing healthy turf. Aerification (also known as aeration) achieves three important objectives. It relieves soil compaction, it provides a method to improve the soil mixture around the highest part of a green's roots and it reduces or prevents the accumulation of excess thatch.
After pulling up the clumps, the mowers will come along and chop it all up nice and fine.
Even the lawn bowling grass is aerated to keep its health and beauty.
Spring time is flower time in Arizona.  All the oleanders are in their splendor right now.
Some of our cactus plants are putting out another set of blossoms.  Spotted these at Mark and Cindy Nelson's house this morning.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Where are the April showers??

Hi to everyone!  Our weather remains the same....lovely clear sky, perfect morning and evening temperatures.  It gets a tad warm in the afternoon but we just sit in the shade and enjoy being outdoors.  I LOVE the month of April!!
I don't have any exciting or earth shattering news but will post some fun stuff anyway to keep you entertained and avoid the complaints that I don' write often enough.  LOL
We were visiting with Harold and Lorie MacKenthun this week and learned about another activity that is popular with some of our residents.  How about Trap & Skeet shooting?? 
Orla and Harold were out at the range this week so I asked him to send me some photos.  Thanks, Harold.
We also talked about the cute baby killdeer that are prolifically running around the golf course this spring.  Harold was lucky enough to be watching a nest just as a chick was hatching!  Here is his photo with the chick's head just sticking out of an egg.
Look how cute they are!!
And he also sent this one of Mom and baby.  Harold wins the award for best photos!
Don and I took this photo this morning while we were out on rounds.  Mama tried to scare us away with her usual antics of a broken wing.
If you look closely, you can see four of her well camouflaged eggs beneath her.  She is definitely willing to give her life to protect those eggs. 
We're all too familiar with the doves but it is still fun to photograph them as they seem to freeze and pose for photos.  This mama builds her nest every year on the RV belonging to Orland and Marlene Nelson.
Since we're on the topic of "wildlife".....I also spotted this colorful bug this week.  Fascinating critter.  I looked him up on the internet to find his name.  Say hello to a Japanese Red Bug.  That's the only identification that came up but I guess it is appropriate.
How about a cactus flower to entertain you?  We spotted these dainty ones in front of Site 1024.
They're very pretty and delicate up close but you hardly notice them on the plant as you drive by.......unless, of course, you're like me and always looking for wonders of Mother Nature.
We stopped along the new Granite Street and commented on how fast those oleander bushes are growing.  I made Don climb up the berm for a photo so we can show how fast they grow over summer.  Stay tuned for the update in the fall.  (Doesn't Don look excited to be in the photo?)  :(
Now that summer season is upon us, all our card games are moved into the Santan Room.  The other rooms are closed up for cleaning and (I imagine) to save on air conditioning costs. 
Say HI  to the Mahjong players.
....and to us Pegs and Jokers combatants.  We take our Pegs game "seriously"....we're cut throat players and have a blast trying to knock each other off the board.  FUN!
That's all for today.  Will hopefully have some newsy stuff soon.

.....and my favorite is:


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Say goodbye to the flowers

Sad to say that as our residents and guests do the flowers we enjoyed all season.  The Arizona hot temperatures just scorch our flowering annual plants and they won't survive the summer season so away they go.  No sense in wasting precious water on plants that can't survive the heat. 

On behalf of all residents, I do want to say a special thank you to the deadheader crew that worked so hard during season to keep our flower beds fresh and beautiful.  Theirs is truly a labor of love.

Wow....check out the huge 30 ft tall posts that were installed by the softball field this week.  I understand that we'll be installing some safety nets to prevent foul balls from escaping the field.  Will keep an eye on their progress.
In that same area, we saw some beautiful brick work being done along the dog agility fencing.  Very nice!!
We next drove over to the landfill/recycling area to check on progress.  All the grass clippings we've been collecting this past year are soon to be mulched in with the 2-year old shredded material we've been nurturing.  This clean pleasant smelling mixture will replace the very unpleasant mixture of manure we used to spread on the golf course as seed cover at reseeding time.  I'm guessing we save "bunches" of money with this recycling program as we avoid the landfill and can reuse the material that grows in our park.  Congrats to the team that works hard in this area.
While our crews are working, our residents are still playing.  The golf course was quite busy this morning as we drove around.  Glad to see folks still here enjoying this BEAUTIFUL weather instead of going to the snow back home.
I always smile when I see the visiting grandkids feeding the fish in our ponds.  I know residents are not supposed to feed the fish because then they'll get lazy and not keep the pond clean but I'm sure there's an exception for the kids.  Besides's FUN to watch the fish struggle for their treats.
Y'all have a great day!  Keep watching for updates as it's going to be another BUSY summer here.
I was always taught to respect my elders,
but it keeps getting harder to find one.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

After Alfa

This past Sunday we watched the end of the Alfa rally.  They had a GREAT event and praised our park, staff, residents, AND the beautiful sunshiny weather.  The "tram" did regular transports from the sites to the front clubhouse on a regular basis.

On the last day as the rigs pulled out, there was a "weigh in" for the RIGS....not the people.  LOL  The Escapees provided portable scales so those who wanted could weigh each axle to determine even weight distribution, tire inflation, and height of their rig.
Knowing the exact height of your rig may be valuable information!
Safety is a priority for RVers so they really enjoyed their fire safety talk and their two day seminar presented by the Freightliner chasis folks.
Here is a view down my street on Saturday.
Here's the view on Sunday afternoon.  What a difference a day makes!  We remaining residents all commented on how we enjoyed watching the Alfas depart like a line of white lemmings.  I hear there were at least 117 rigs all departing that day.
Now we see some of the summer maintenance work beginning.  Loads of gravel are being brought in to level out some of the sites.  The gent at the far left is spraying for weeds.  Of course, that's not just a 'summer' job as I've seen them doing this all year round to keep the weeds under control.  Keeping our park beautiful is a constant job.
Update:  Loyal mother-to-be still baking in the hot sun.
Now I must take a moment to brag about one of my star computer students.  Darlene Stevens took my class at the Alfa rally on how to create a blog.  Her first posting is excellent because it describes a bit of our Palm Creek lifestyle.  We truly do become a family!!  Thank you, Darlene, for sharing.
Johns Hopkins Weight Study

The National Institutes of Health has just released  the results of a $200 million research study completed under a grant to 
Johns  Hopkins.

The new study has found that women who carry a little  extra weight live longer than the men who mention it.