First Friendless Week

No matter how well you prepare or how obvious it may be that the time is getting near, it is never easy to say good bye. Lambert was my second dog while here at Mink and he had big paws to fill since Thumper made quite an impression. Bert held his own and proved to be quite a character himself. Some of you may remember Thumper but may not be aware of the odd coincidence that he and Bert shared the same Birthday. When I filled out the adoption papers, Bert was a rescue who came into our lives at 7 months old, I noticed something odd about the date. I thought it was a niece/nephew or a cousins birthday that I should know. It was not until Cheryl came home and saw the date and could not even finish the sentence that it hit me. How strange. We always felt he had a bit of Thumper's ghost in him. Leave it to my wife to remember that we lost Thumps in July as well. Too much coincidence for me.

Lambert 9/26/07 - 7/6/18                      Thumper 9/26/95 - 7/16/06
Both just shy of their 11th birthdays. Two great dogs who could not have been better ambassadors for  me and Mink Meadows.

Bert as a puppy
Bert had a tough life living in a 10 x 10 fence kennel for his first 6 months. Then spent a month in the shelter. He developed what is called kennel syndrome. He had to learn to entertain himself so he started with his water dish. He used to tip it over and play with it. His affinity for plastic coffee cans was a site to see. I never had to clip his nails since he wore them down on the gravel paths kicking things around.

Bert loved to play golf. He almost sunk a few putts rolling whatever he had with him at the cup as we putted out. He would find a rock early and play with that for 9 holes. Often dropping it in the cart by your feet so you would throw it for him. As he got older he enjoyed riding in the cart more. He would take up the entire seat when it was vacated. Annoying for sure but many members would jump at the chance for one more annoying round. I know I would.

Frank Cecelio and Bert

He loved it when we would repair irrigation breaks. He would stare at every shovel full as it came out of the ground looking for a rock to play with. Often he would throw it back in the hole at us so we would have to throw it for him. The repairs were made more enjoyable being entertained by him.

Some of you knew Bert had a girlfriend. The owners started walking their pup by the gate of the shop twice a day. Soon they asked if they could take Bert with them. The dogs bonded and Cheryl and I gained new human friends. They were gone most winters which left Bert to hold a vigil on the deck waiting for his girl Ella to return and come walking by.

A regular event
Bert and Ella
Bert loved his stoop. He would sit there for hours refusing to come to work with me. Content to wait for Ella or simply to keep an eye on things from above. He would run down the stairs however, when one of his favorite members showed up often with a treat for him.

Favorite spot
He truly was happiest at the beach. That was Thumper's Ghost for sure. Two peas in a pod. The difference being Bert had abandonment issues and only left me to walk to Ella's and bound through the doggy door. Of the 4 dogs at the house Bert is still the only one to embrace the doggy door. This video was in the last few weeks. He did not have the ability to play for long with his stick but he sure enjoyed trying.

We visited my sister once in VT and he would attack all of her dog Scout's toys. His favorite was actually a stuffed animal and not a dog toy. She and her husband were so taken by his aggressive affection for Santa Bear they gave him to Bert. He remained a favorite snuggle and shake toy. We buried him with Santa Bear and his favorite blue ball. He is out at the Linden Tree with Thumper.

Bert and Santa Bear
I dragged Bert out to hose the dew on his last day and we were greeted on 1 with a small buck

He used to love to chase the hose since I took him out that first day we brought him home.

RIP Lambert

The great charcoal scare

I made a change in the way I applied our crabgrass preventative this year. I often make subtle changes to the programs to see if we can improve costs, efficiency, or simply the course in general. It seemed to be a home run as it was very efficient, easy to do and allowed me to get into areas that I was unable to using the traditional method. The nuts and bolts are instead of using the booms on the sprayer I used the boom less nozzles on the back. This allowed me to get in close to the trees along the range and one, a spot I was unable to using the booms. About two weeks ago I started noticing these speckles on a few collars and greens.


5 green?
These were in odd places and hard to see during the day in full day light. They were not any disease I recognized and had a distinct pattern to them. I worked with one of my support staff and confirmed my suspicion that these were an over spray from the crabgrass application and essentially a chemical burn. The solution was to apply activated charcoal. These speckles are not to be confused with Dollar Spot which is a fungus that causes lesions in the turf like the picture below.

Dollar spot lesions
The application of the charcoal caused quite a stir since it was obvious something had been applied or spilled. I figured it might make a good post to explain why we turned some sections of the course black. After watering in with fresh water the color has subsided some and maybe the predicted rain will finish the job. If it works it should break down that heavy rate of crabgrass preventative and the turf will recover on its own.
9 green

Summer begins

Where has the time gone? Maybe it is me but time is going by rapidly. Seems like yesterday we were lamenting the lack of Spring and now July 4th is upon us. We had a dry stretch for a bit but now have had some timely rains. Hopefully they will ease the scars from the dry spell and set us up for the big heat wave being predicted next week. The course continues to play great and we are getting more members and public returning.

I have chatted here in these pages about ospreys this is another post with links inside and another older post 
These posts cover our history in the resurgence of this majestic bird and also my following of Belle. A bird who made several trips back and forth to overwintering sites in South America. I was able to catch a glimpse of her on the Cape just before her transmitter battery died. I joined the email list for Osprey Trax and this week learned about a book covering the story of Belle. See it here:

We have had some really nice sunrises over the last couple of weeks. If you follow me on Twitter you may have seen them. I also shared them with the pro shop so they could post them on our social media feeds, so maybe you saw them there?
Mink Meadows Pond

9 green

1st hole