Sunsets and Moonsets

Just another week has gone by. It seems like the summer is going quickly this year. As an update the hurricane turned out to be a tropical storm and no major damage was incurred. An awful lot of debris came down and continued to fall as the next few days after the storm  were almost as windy. But we persevered and the place is back to normal minus a million leaves.
Mink Meadows Yacht basin
Saw this deer the day after the storm and it was almost as if to say everything is fine here and you?

 We are in the middle of the club championship as I type this and boy have a couple of ladies tossed up a good number on day one. I must admit to feeling a bit intimidated and hope I can raise my game to match the effort.

Moonset pictures as we hosed fairways.

July Hurricanes?

Well July is sure coming in with a bang. First heat wave in Boston for the season. Earliest hurricane to hit the Carolina's since the 1800's. Luckily for us the projected path is well out to sea but earlier in the week before that was the case it made for some anxious moments. We will hopefully get some much needed rain out of the deal. The winds are not supposed to be too bad relative to what we see out here on a fairly regular basis. I am sure a few sticks and branches will come down but hopefully not much more. The weather looks good for most of the Holiday weekend with only this afternoon and tonight being disrupted by rain. Enjoy the break in humidity that follows the rain.

Ben working the rails

I took ladder duty after Chris prepped this area

Josh and Ben
We through lots of bodies at prepping and painting the deck and porch railing this week. We put a good dent in project and will try to wrap that area up next week before moving on to other areas. As you can see the hydrangea around the clubhouse are in their full glory. A member asked me why the ones in Katama (south side of the island) are no where near blooming? I should have directed her to last weeks blog post about micro climates. Instead I explained that parts of the island can be weeks apart in terms of flower bloom. The days are flying by and we are into normal summer routines: mow/water/rake- repeat. A few projects get tossed into the mix such as the above mentioned painting and also the brush cutting on the sides of the roads. Will has begun that in earnest. The tourney schedule is upon us with flag day today, the Mink in progress and the member-guests and championships coming up. This will keep us on our toes for course preparations.

Micro climates

Everyone has heard the tales of it raining outside the front door and the sun shining outside the back door of a house. Thunderstorms can be funny that way. Anyone who has driven around the island is familiar with micro climates. As defined by Websters "the essentially uniform local climate of a usually small site or habitat". Who hasn't left one part of the island and headed to Aquinnah playing tour guide only to be shocked that the sunny clear weather you left becomes the fogged in cool weather you find. "I swear the cliffs are beautiful and right there, I guess we will have to try again tomorrow". The island has many micro climates. In fact, if you really want to get picky every landscape has them. Have a shady side of your house? Is one side always drier? The golf course is the same. The elevation change plays a role. The sun angle and height does too. On the right side of 4 in Winter the first 10- 20 feet from the woods never sees the sun. If we have snow it can last there for weeks while we are playing a clear fairway.  This is what makes forecasting the weather so difficult and also attempting to make the course consistent. I am not sure when the expectation for consistency started actually because it is quite silly when you think about it. If a bunker on one green is in full sun and another one on a different green is in shade most of the day they will dry out at different times and play completely different. You might say well remove the shade to make them more equal. Easier said then done when the shade is coming from trees that people get emotionally attached, or maybe it is a building or even the side of a mountain creating the shade.

Josh Baker pruning hedge

Ben Oppenheimer hard at work
Last Fall we shrunk the hedge on 8 tee. The boys pruned it this week to try and maintain this height. It casts a large shadow on the back of that tee and we had a lot of disease last summer during the hot humid stretch. A thinner hedge that allows more air and sun will do that micro climate some good. I have been told it is nice to see down the 8th hole from the road and the 7th green and I have also been told it is too short and they miss the hedge at 12-15 feet. You cannot please everyone but if we make the decisions based on what is best for the turf at least it is a valid reason. We all enjoy good turf.
We received some much needed rain this week but how much? Thursday morning Murph came in and said he had .24" at his house just off Franklin St. We had .02" It rained off and on all day Thursday (had to it was Ladies Day right?) and so we compared notes on Friday morning. He received another .45" for a total of .69" We had .14" for a total of .16". We went back and forth about who was right and whether we each had the gauge in a proper location. The fact is that we have two here: one connected to the weather station on top of the gazebo (which is very accurate measuring to 1/10ths), and the other by the fuel pumps. I checked in with a land owner by the third green who I know has a rain gauge and they received .5". So the top side of the property received somewhere around .5" and the lower side less than half of that? How's that for consistency? I actually attempted to water just the lower half of the property last night for the first time ever.
Hard to believe June is almost over. Here's to a peaceful summer and more consistent rains.