Temperature Changes & Great Sunrises

We have been on a roller coaster this year with a few warm days then a few cold. Great for growing cool season grasses. The normal pattern is for the weather to break from summer oppression by the third week of August. The days are shrinking and the nights get a little cooler and the humidity seems to drop a bit.  This is already noticeable when it comes to day length. We have been starting at 5 am for months with hosing off the dew and putting ice in the coolers first thing. We are now in complete darkness when starting this procedure. The dew is not done forming and settles back on the grass after we finish and at times it is foggy in the morning which makes for a great scene.

4th hole misty sunrise
This morning was just such a day. Spectacular while hosing and then while spraying fairways. I stopped to take a picture on 4 then again on 5 as the dragonflies were going nuts in the tall grass in front of 6 tee.


 Every month brings a change and new challenges which keep the monotony of course maintenance fresh and new. We have seen very small acorns falling off the oaks which is a premonition of the season to come.

I mentioned our son Josh in the last post. He grew up here at Mink and many of you enjoyed watching him grow. Many members had a strong influence on him as well. One of my favorite memories is of Mandred Henry, former leader of the MV NAACP talking to Josh and one of his classmates about their Black History month reports. Josh's was on Langston Hughes and Mandred was thrilled to tell the boys everything he knew about their subjects. He was a large man in many ways and I can still see his massive hand dwarfing the ones of these school children as he shook their hands (and mine for that matter). Josh has not been on MV much in the last few years so it was great for many of you to catch up with him while he was here. I am often asked "what is he up to now?" It is still the same for the last 18 months. He is traveling around the West seeing as much of the National and State Parks systems as he can. Where he gets the adventurous spirit I cannot imagine since I rarely leave this corner of the island.
Here is a clip from one of his stops in Montana. He knows I love history and drive everyone crazy when I stop to read every historical sign on the side of the road. That he gets from me so he takes pictures of many in his travels. I love the one with the Montana cattle brands. We follow him with "find my friends" on his iPhone and I often take screen shots which is the top right map picture.

Communications with our son Josh

The recent rains and cooler weather have been great for the course and it is in as good a shape as ever for August. Our programs of low chemical use on fairways and roughs really shows up during the hot months. The fairways can get slimy from the salt water intrusion which makes them vulnerable to mechanical wear such as cart traffic. I have seen a few tire skids out there so hopefully we get a few more natural rain events, at night of course, to flush the salts and firm up the surface. Until then be extra careful with cart traffic please.

Short Summer?

Am I the only one who feels as if the summer is flying by? For me I think it is the weather. The lack of heat does not make it feel like summer and I love it. Reminds me of the summers we had when I first came here lo those many years ago. You remember, when we did not need air conditioning except for a few days in august.

I scrolled through my phone pics to see what I should share with you and discovered I had not covered the painting of the pesticide storage building. This metal building was installed in my first Spring 1996. It has been a bear to keep paint on as you can imagine a metal building near the water would. I prepped and painted it first with a rust inhibitor (2 coats) then paint. Next was a sign which I had our resident artist Kelly design and paint. When I discovered the metal roof had a few small holes due to the accumulation of water and rust I had to figure out a solution. Having a retired contractor on payroll is nice. Rusty and I devised a plan to build a simple shed roof utilizng the tabs welded to the roof that the crane used to set the building. My son Josh was around for a short stay so he was given the task to build this roof and attach a rubber membrane.

before, during and after

Artists at work
 Say what you will about the weather. It may not have been perfect for the beach but it sure was for the flowering hydrangea. People have told me from all over the island this is the best they have seen.

Banner year
As we come to the end of July we are in the middle of our Men's and Women's Member-guest tourney's. The ladies had a great day yesterday and hopefully the weather holds out for the men. Both events are a great way to show off your club to your friends. Not that the Mink is not fun to play everyday because it is, but the respective parties try to make these events extra special. And my crew steps it up a notch to be sure the course is as good as it can be. If you have never played in one you should think about it for next year.

Member Guest season

TurfNet Blog Aggregator email

Every Tuesday TurfNet sends an email called the TurfNet Turf Blog Aggregator where they compile the most interesting blog posts of that week from it's members. Mine has been on there a few times. Some of these blogs are extremely well done and I have learned a lot from them. At times I have added a link to a particular post that I thought was pertinent for us here at Mink. That is the case this week. As I scrolled down the email every post seemed to resonate with me. I am not sure if the link will work but here is this weeks Aggregator: LINK

Starting with Paul Carter, CGCS I truly believe the players have a bigger impact on conditions than the staff does. We can prep the course in the AM and have it look as if we were never there by 10:00. Jon Kiger has been my roommate on all the Bandon Dunes trips and does a great job organizing all the TurfNet members trips He has a special affinity for all things Irish even hosting a Celtic radio show in Atlanta.

I cannot tell you how many times I have felt silly watering in a product when rain is predicted or is actually falling. Brad Novotny does a great job explaining why we do what we have to sometimes. I mean the forecasts are never wrong right? Dave Schlagetter has been a contributor to the forum on TurfNet for years and has some great insights. "Robot" mowers are making some in-roads into golf and it is exciting and very daunting. What can I say about Bug Spray Disease? Fred Gehrisch, CGCS sums it up perfectly. I think most of us suffer from this affliction.

Even though we do not have ponds on the course we do have ponds and water bodies in Mink Meadows. Brian Stiehler, CGCS MG covers the issues of treating ponds for aquatic weeds. John Slade is a fixture on the Aggregator because he is simply damn good at it. Tremendous coverage of some of his summer staff and a reminder that few people here at Mink need. The members here are very good about complimenting the staff and  appreciating the hard work they do every day.

Finally Jorge Croda, CGCS covers a topic I too believe in and participate in every day. The day you stop learning is the day they plant you in the ground. The final "Thoughts from a foolish golf course superintendent" is fairly new to the Aggregator but after seeing one a few weeks ago I decided to follow this and receive them every day. Many are quite good and very profound. One I loved and forwarded to a friend was this one:

I have thought about doing this format many times since the topics most superintendents write about and deal with are universal. I feel as though I would be reinventing the wheel so why not share a well written post. This week seemed to just strike a chord where every post was relevant. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.