Monday, May 30th, 2011

I saw a photograph on the front page of the Oregonian on Saturday. It was of the Peninsula Park Rose Garden without a single rose in bloom. The caption read, "Portland's no-rose Festival". Memorial Day weekend is the kick off of Portland's Rose Festival and normally the Peninsula Park Garden and the Washington Park Rose Garden are in full bloom. Just another sign of the spring we are having so far.

The weather did cooperate for the short time the Gaffney Lane sixth graders were out for their annual bird watching tour on Friday. As I mentioned in last week's post, Kristy McQueen has been bringing her class out to the course since my son Adam was in her class six years ago. Even though it is only for an hour, it gives me an opportunity to show the children the golf course and to give them a chance to see firsthand all of its environmental attributes. Many have never walked on a putting green and it always amazes them that the grass is actually real.

Kristy teaches a course on birds and the field trip gives the kids an opportunity to get out and locate and identify birds first hand. Every year some local birding volunteers help with the tour and this year Steve Berliner and Ron Spencer once again lent their time and expertise. I appreciate what they do so much in that they are also committed to providing a valuable learning experience for the kids.  This year I invited Russell Vandehey, superintendent from The Oregon Golf Club to help out as well. Russell continues to have a very successful Western Bluebird nesting box program and I wanted to give him an opportunity to speak to the kids and talk about the Prescott Bluebird Recovery Program. This year Russell has already fledged one box and still has five more pairs nesting successfully. Russell did such a great job, I hope he will come back again next year. As the bluebirds fly, The Oregon Golf Club is only five miles from Stone Creek and we have yet to see a pair of birds in our boxes.I keep threatening Russel that I'm going kidnap one of his boxes and bring a pair to Stone Creek.

Since the weather wasn't quite as sunny as previous years, the birds weren't out in the masses as they have before. We still managed to spot lots of song sparrows, gold finches, red tail hawks, swallows and even a brief encounter with a humming bird. Needless to say I think they all enjoyed themselves and may even come back and take a walk around the trail with their parents. Below are some additional photos of the event.
Gaffney 2011

Course Conditions

The weather wasn't all that great this week but it didn't stop the crew from getting quite a bit done. We were able to fertilize the greens and the tees as well as finishing all the fairway aerification. We only managed to topdress seventeen so we still have ten through fifteen to go. Weather permitting we should have it wrapped up by by the end of the week. We also used as many of the aerification plugs to repair the worn cart path edges. A small detail that will make a big difference on the general appearance of the golf course. The upper level of the driving range tee was aerified, seeded and topdressed. The teeing area is now on the lower tee box which may have a tendency to hold more water after rainy events so we may be having them hit off of the mats for a while until the tee box dries out a bit.

Brian and Mike did a little spring cleaning around the course and used the pressure washer to clean the neighbors fencing along eight and nine. It looks so much nicer and the guys were even rewarded with a big box of  warm cookies from the Whites. Thanks Cindy!

All my best to everyone on this Memorial Day and thoughts are with all whom have served and sacrificed for our country.

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