Saturday, July 31, 2021

Hotel & Steakhouse

 The drone flew to check on the status of the Best Western Hotel and the upcoming Texas Roadhouse.  Which do you think will be completed first??  LOL

We had some yummy chili dog dinners this week!  Delicious.

The event was sponsored by Jim and Linda Rainer who are co-founders of Live Rishi.  They supply organic CBD products and live here in Palm Creek with offices in Tempe.  See their website at

Have you looked at the new Ticket Book of upcoming events for this season?  Looks like we have some great shows and dances in our future!  Congrats to Marion and Terri for their hard work in securing top- notch entertainment.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Dredging the Main Lake

Our residents are asking about the dredging process on the main lake so I did some research:

Silt and muck build up over time so ponds need dredging to maintain their water quality and flow.  The lakes on our golf course serve as the water source and flow for our irrigation system throughout the park.  When the muck or silt gets sucked into the pumps, it causes them to get plugged. This in turn causes blockage to the sprinkler heads on the golf course and through the irrigation system to our landscaping and palm trees throughout the park.

Hydraulic dredging works much like a vacuum cleaner to suck up the fine silt and muck.  This is the preferred method in a man-made pond like our golf course.  The pontoon looking thing in the middle of the lake has a large 8 ft wide apparatus that runs along the bottom of the pond and sucks up the silt. It is then piped through the large orange tubing and is moved over to the far end of the lake away from the pump system.  This will provide temporary relief to our pump system. Future plans call for the complete removal of the silt and perhaps even replacing the liner that covers the bottom of our lakes.

Researching on the web and visiting with the Operator (Pat) working on our lake, I’ve learned that the muck can eventually be removed and dried out with the use of a dewaterer (yes, that is a real word!).  Then they are able to deposit that dried sediment at a dump site or a farm field with an erosion fence surrounding it. The federal government requires a permit to dump sediment in a way that won’t negatively affect the environment.  Pat says it makes great fertilizer for his garden.

Pat is controlling the pontoon with the use of a remote.  There is a small black hose attached to the orange tubing that sprays water back into the pond.  By watching that flow, Pat can tell when the area is clear of sludge as the water will be clear instead of black or muddy.


We took an 8-minute video over the pond.  Try clicking your space bar if you want to pause the video.  If you have trouble viewing it, you can go to YouTube and google Sue Hepler.  Videos are always better when viewed on a computer or TV to show more detail.

This is an unedited version.  I was anxious to post this so wouldn't give Don time to play with editing.  

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Dredging, Tree Trim, Drone Sample

We watched the workmen setting up the dredging operation at the main lake.  This big machine is anchored to a tree on shore and is then operated remotely.  It is dragging a big orange tube that will suck up the muck.  The black bags are floats surrounding the orange tube.

Don went down to visit and get more info.  Once they're in operation, we'll be back with more footage.


Don is still practicing with the new drone.  He is sampling the different type of "modes" or special features of the camera.  This little clip is using the "circle" shot.  It is an auto feature so he doesn't even have to steer the drone.

It's good to know that our tree trimmers are back in business after a long delay due to equipment problems.  These guys do a great job...........but I wonder why this gent is using a small hand saw instead of a chain saw.  I'm sure there's a reason?


CatDad stories from Anton:

Wednesday, July 28, 2021


The ticket book is now available on line on the resort's website.  Here's a  link for you:

Don is having fun with his new drone.  The device comes with several preset kinds of shots that he can program into a video.  He went out to play today and practice.  He says this practice video isn't for publication but I grabbed it to publish anyway.

There is so much equipment accumulating at the main lake.  Th;ey're going to dredge the whole lake to try to remove some of the sludge at the bottom.  We'll definitely get some footage as work progresses.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

New Toys

WOW!  Remember the awesome picture of the Kestrel Julie Wolf submitted?  Here's a baby!!  We spotted this little guy resting on the railing of a house in the 200 section.  He was young enough to fly but not much more than that.  It's great to know that birds like this can find a home in Palm Creek.

We like to keep a close eye on the weather so Don bought a new high tech weather station so we have one of our own instead of bugging friends for an up-to-date report every time we have some unusual weather.  Of course, "the boys" are close by to keep an eye on the project. 

We called Mr. Maldonado to come over for the installation.

There's no way I'll let Don up there anymore.  These two looked so calm and secure.

Next project is the new Drone!!  As I reported yesterday, the old drone wouldn't work so it was off to Amazon to get a new one.  It arrived next day as promised.  Again, "the boys" are nearby to "help" with assembly.

Well............Don had his first flight with the new drone.  Strictly a practice run but it's a start.  There's a learning curve with any new toy.

Like I said before.........this blog is an expensive hobby!  😖

Monday, July 26, 2021


I've been receiving quite a few inquiries about how to subscribe to my Palm Creek Update blog.  There is a large white form to the immediate right where you simply fill in your email address, name, and site number.  Then you will automatically receive an email from MailChimp announcing that I have posted something new.  I don't write every day so it's helpful to subscribe and be alerted when there is a new post.  I've changed the form today to make it even easier to sign up.

If you can't see the "Subscribe Here" form, it is probably because you are viewing on your cell phone instead of a computer.  Thus you are seeing just the "mobile version" of the blog: something like this.

 To see the form while on your phone, scroll way to be bottom of the post.  At the bottom you will see a link that says "View Web Version".  Click there and the screen will change making it possible for you to see the right hand column of the blog page.

Now your screen should look like this:

Click on the white subscription box and it will expand larger for you to see and enter your information.

If all else fails and you can't get it to work, just email me the info and I will enter your name for you.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Flood aftermath

The rain has finally stopped and we're all out taking pictures of the aftermath of floods.  We had 1.37 inches  of rain since mid night last night.  We've accumulated 6.85 total for the year.  Our normal annual rainfall was 3.65 so all this rain has to be a blessing for the drought.  (Thank you to Chris Stewart with his high tech weather station.)  It was fun to watch the heavy rain sweeping down the street but I was a little concerned about the hole under our house as it must have been filling up.  No worries though.

Worst sign of flooding was outside the park on the roads.  Henness was totally flooded and was closed off so no access to Cottonwood.  Lynne Rogers sent this photo: 

Photo from Lynne Rogers

We send sincere compliments to the landscapers, designers, engineers, etc. who helped with the layout of roads for Palm Creek.  All that rain water ran exactly as planned and drained into the golf course instead of flooding our homes.  Yes, there are huge lakes on the golf course, but no damage to the residents.  Thank you!

Here are more photos from today.
Photo from Lynne Rogers

From Scott Honodel, Site 671
Scott Honodel, Site 671

The runoff from Oak Street flooded the area starting at site 234.

We stood on the patio at Site 126 and took a quick scan of the water on the course.

You can see how fast the rain was falling.  This is the widest stream of water we've ever seen on the road in front of our house.  

Looks like we'll have time to dry out now as the forecast is clear for a couple days.

Julie Wolf sent some awesome photos ... not only of the flood but of her encounter with a kestrel that was taking refuge near her house.  Thank you to Julie for sharing!

Here's the flood view from site 134.

Photo from Julie Wolf

Note from Julie:  This bedraggled female kestrel (sometimes called a sparrow hawk) spent about a half hour clutching my window sill during the rain today.  She finally got a little more strength and flew to the umbrella before flying off.  I moved from one of my windows to the other and she also moved.  She didn't seem to be frightened just worn out."

That would be quite an adventure for us bird watchers!

Photo by Julie Wolf

Photo by Julie Wolf

Later this evening, Don and I drove out to Barro's for pizza to celebrate my birthday.  (Happy Birthday to ME.)  😀  We celebrated with son Anton and his gal Hannah.  Here's my card from Anton.

Authored by a proud owner of a stray cat (named Newt) and two fish.  

I'm hearing strange weather stories from several readers.  It seems Mother Nature is all mixed up with where she sends the heat and high temps vs who gets the rain.  Keep the stories coming as I love hearing from readers.

***I also have a very sad story to tell.  Don has worked diligently to get the drone into the sky for some aerial photos to share but found that his drone is so old that the manufacturer is no longer supporting the program.  Thus he can't download needed updates for the program.  He spent the next couple hours researching for a replacement and found a nice new model on Amazon.  Supposedly we'll have a new machine this week.  OUCH!!  This little blog hobby of ours is expensive!


It is 11:00 a.m. and we've already had 1.3 additional inches of rain since midnight!  WOW!  Here's a video from yesterday afternoon when we ventured out into a light drizzle to get some pictures for you.

LOTS of water out there!!

By the looks of the radar, we're in for a lot more.

Between showers yesterday, I saw this Mom out enjoying the shower with her little ones.  They were having fun!

I'll post again as soon as it lets up enough for us to go out.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

More Rain!

What a wonderful morning!  Had coffee out on the patio while we enjoyed watching the nice gentle steady rain.  No wind, no lightning, just calm steady rain that our desert has needed for years.  Cool temp of only73 degrees.  We even have the windows open!!  Humidity is high but as long as it stays cool, we're okay. 

 I enjoyed it so much, I had to make a video.  I hope you can hear my audio as well.

By the looks of our radar, this is going to last a long time!

Local weather station (at Chris's house) says we've received .90 and it's still raining.

I don't want to bore you with sleeping cat pictures so I'll add one of our son's drawings.  I think they're hilarious and quite precious.  Anton and Hannah have recently taken in a stray cat....which Anton swore he would never do nor ever own a cat.  

I LOVE this one of their first trip to the vet for a check up.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Lots of rain!

I'll call this post "The Morning After".  It was an incredible storm last night with lots of much needed rain.  It's too bad it all has to come at the same time.  We drove around in a light drizzle this morning about 8:00.  No damage seen anywhere as the wind wasn't very strong.  Just puddles.

Small pond on number 8 fairway.

The water is a little high at the main lake.

It will take a while for the water to recede on the #2 fairway.  These photos are the wash between sites 149 and 150 as the water flows down Oak Drive.

There is definitely more rain to come our way.  Here's the current radar.

And the 10 day weather forecast.

Chris Steward has a dandy weather station and reports that we had 1.06 inches of rain since midnight with a total of 4.35 for the year.  Great news for our parched desert and drought.