Monday, December 19th, 2011

Great Egret
Last week we added a new bird to our bird list. We had started seeing it a few weeks ago but I didn't want to say anything until I could catch it with my camera. The Great Blue Heron is a common sight at the course, often seen in the native grass areas looking for mice or along the edge of the ponds feeding on small fish. Very similar to the Great Blue Heron is the Great Egret.  A large white heron, the Great Egret is found across much of the world, from southern Canada southward to Argentina, and in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. It's the largest egret in the Old World, and thus has garnered the name Great White Egret. In the New World, however, the white form of the Great Blue Heron is larger. In the United States, the Great Egret used to be called the American Egret but that was hardly appropriate, since its range extends beyond the Americas and indeed farther than other herons. 

Great Blue Heron
 I tried to get a better photograph of it but as soon as I stepped out of the cart it took off. I'm lucky I had the camera ready for just that moment. I'm sure I will have better opportunities in the future to get more shots. The Great Blue is not as shy and is allowing me to get pretty close. I took this shot just after the Great Egret took off.

While I'm on the subject of herons, Jerry Hines took this video of the Great Blue Heron catching mice in the field between the third and fourth holes. Jerry was very excited to catch it with his Droid and I'm happy to share it with everyone as well. Thanks Jerry!

Once again, last week was very productive. Treecology came out and cleaned up a few trees which left quite a mess behind. Our goal was to remove dead wood from a few select firs around the thirteenth green including the complete removal of the large dead tree just north of the green. We also thinned the grove of trees between the fifteenth and the sixteenth greens. All of the logs will be cut up and taken to the Senior Center at North Clackamas Park where it will be split and used to provide heat for the elderly citizens of Clackamas County. So please, no further requests for firewood. The remaining limbs have been chipped and added to our chip pile, which will then be spread beneath the firs groves around the course.

The weather cooperated, allowing us to mow and fertilize the greens on Thursday. It was nice to be able to clean them up and get a nice fresh clip on them. The weather continued to cooperate on Friday, giving us an opportunity to apply a treatment for microdochium patch. We are still seeing some signs but they have slowed drastically with the frosty mornings.

We managed to cut some sod last week, enough to finish off the small drainage project on the eleventh fairway. We also cut the sod over where we will be beginning our new project closer to the green. The ground had been so frozen it had prevented us from continuing the work.


Finally, Friday was our annual crew breakfast at McCrea's. As usual we all over ate but enjoyed coming in to work an hour late! When the guys returned to the shop they found that Santa had been busy and left them all Christmas gifts. I can never say enough about all of these guys. I am so grateful for everything this crew does. As I told them Friday, I have received a fair amount of recognition for the environmental work that is done at Stone Creek, but none of it would be possible without their hard work and professionalism. They, as I do, take a lot of pride in their work and it shows every day. The breakfast and gifts are just a small token of Stone Creek's appreciation for the great work they do!


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