Adventures of Belle - update. That bird gets around

If you follow this blog you may remember me showing you Belle the osprey. I found this phone app and then a website that lets you follow birds that have been outfitted with GPS tracking devices. It was great fun to watch Belle and others make their journey from South America back up to the North East. Well a couple of weeks ago, on my way to the homestead on the Cape, Belle was hanging out in Mashpee right where I drive, so I dragged my wife Cheryl to see if we could get a glimpse.

GPS is accurate

Was an osprey way out over this pond
The phone app showed Belle at this little water body right off the main road. We pulled in and drove right by it and headed to the big pond thinking it had to be wrong. We could hear an osprey flying over the pond so I took a picture and was disappointed in the accuracy of the GPS unit. As we drove out looking at the little mud puddle where it said she was we both saw an osprey fly right over. I pulled out onto Rt 130 and then pulled over hoping to see her again but did not. I have checked in on her over the last two weeks and the silly bird has been all over. She took a day trip out here and another to Chatham.

Trip to MV
Trip to Chatham

"Silly bird has been all over"

Gypsy Girl
It appears by the last update I grabbed above Belle has made a few trips out to Martha's Vineyard. After traveling all the way from South America a few miles everyday to explore around is no big deal. Our osprey who comes in and stays on one nest for the entire season seems dull by comparison. 

Golf Auction Tee Up New England

It is that time of year again for the annual Tee Up New England auction. We have 99 clubs in NE that have donated rounds of golf to the NERTF We then take these rounds and run an on-line auction with all the proceeds going towards Turf Research in New England. Mink has been donating to this auction since the beginning. Check out the site Tee-up NE

Science project - Poa Seed head Suppression

There have been some changes in the way we use a plant health product called Proxy. Most of our products come out of the Agriculture industry. This product is used as a growth regulator and specifically to suppress annual bluegrass seed head production. This is very important on putting greens since the production of these seed heads make the greens bumpy for weeks. I have been making two applications in the Spring for years. The change has been to apply one application in the late Fall. I decided to try this with our last spray of the season. When it came time to spray the nursery I decided to skip a few spots to test whether the late season application made a difference. I add a dye to the last spray of the season to keep the greens darker for the Winter. This helps absorb sunlight and heat things up over the off-season. It also made it obvious where we had skipped this last spray.

Early Spring

After late March application 

Early Spring non-sprayed plot

Different angle of the non-sprayed plot above after second spray
By again skipping various areas we have a full blown trial going on. With check plots that have neither the November nor March applications "CK", Spring only "SO", Fall only "FO", and Both "B". In university research trials there are usually triplicates, exact size plots and many other strict protocols which I may not have followed but it is still a neat thing to see.  

In the Spring application I added iron or Ferrous Sulfate (FeSo4) to again add a little color. This will not last as long as a dye so I have more control of the color of the greens. I skipped a section on most of the greens as a test in addition to the nursery. These skips would then all be Fall only plots. Iron really works to turn grass green as you can see in the skips on 2 and 3 greens pictured here.

Eventually we should see patches of white seed heads. Or at least more seed heads in these areas, but who knows? That is why we do these tests to see how the products we use work here on this property.