Friday, March 30, 2012

Mallard Duck Project Update

Today was graduation day for Bill's little mallard duckies.  He moved the ducklings out of the outside shelter and released them into the irrigation lake where we have installed the mallard duck nesting tubes.  Hopefully this will be their new home and they will raise many more mallards in the future.  Catch up on the project by viewing Building Mallard Duck Nesting Tubes or by watching the  USGA Mallard Duck webcast.

Bill ordered 10 mallard duck chicks from and we received them on February 28.  We kept them in the maintenance building where they were fed and watered and kept warm with a small heat lamp.

After they had grown some, which did not take very long at all, Bill built an outside shelter for them where they had some more room, could get used to the outside temperatures, and quit stinking up the maintenance building.  They were very cute to look at while they were so small but they really did stink up the place.
The little ones in their outside home.  I was surprised by how much water they went through in a single day.  The watering container had to be filled up several times per day.  I guess that is why they call them water fowl.
Bill felt that they were ready to face the real world so he gathered them all up and took them over to one of the mallard duck nesting tubes and placed them inside.  The ducklings do not have their flight feathers yet but they should know the tubes are a safe place and will fly back up and use them.
After they all fell out of the nesting tube they swam back to the shore and gathered up in their normal huddle.  It was fun to watch them explore the new environment for a while and try swimming for the first time. 
We already have some new mallards on the pond using the nesting tubes so we hope these mallards will take our ducklings under their wing and show them the ropes.

Although Bill and Mitch have been the leaders of this project, I am very proud of all my staff for their hard work in completing another environmental conservation program at the golf course.  With the unsuccessful nesting of our Bald Eagles this year it is nice to turn around and have a successful nesting program of a different sort. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Eagle Cam and Mallard Duck Webcast

As many of our faithful followers know, our environmental programs at The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay are extremely important to us and the success of our golf course.  Several months ago Bill and Mitch built seven new mallard duck nesting tubes and installed them in the irrigation lake on #11 green.  We were pleased that the fine folks at the United States Golf Association Green Section saw the blog post and requested we record a webcast about the project.  Another great way to promote the environment, so I jumped on board.  Below is a copy of the USGA webcast. 

And as if the great people at TurfNet have not done enough for me and The Bear Trace already they have put together a video about the Harrison Bay Eagle Cam Project and are continuing to add informative articles to keep the TurfNet readers up to date.

I do want to let everyone know that one of the eagle eggs has been discarded from the nest. Eloise moved the egg out of the nest on Friday morning.  We were all very sad and disappointed but spirits were lifted on Friday evening when the remaining egg began to crack open and our newest eagle at Harrison Bay began the hatching process which can take up to a day to complete.  We are very much looking forward to seeing the little one grow up and take flight.  As I am typing this it is raining outside and like a good mother Eloise is sitting contently on the nest keeping her little one dry and warm. 

And contrary to popular belief we do more than just take care of the "zoo".  We were able to complete the bunker renovation on the large greenside bunker on #12.  We have plans to renovate the small greenside bunker on #12 and the two rear greenside bunkers on #15 before the heavy play season begins, if it hasn't already.

The greens have come out of winter dormancy in great shape this year.  We have begun the process of lowering the heights and will begin our light topdressing program in the next few weeks.  Fairways, tees, and approaches have all been cut down and we will continue to spray the Poa in the roughs throughout the rest of March.  Hope everyone had a great winter break and are ready for some warm weather and great golf.

Monday, March 5, 2012

What an Honor to be Named TurfNet Superintendent of the Year

I just returned from the 2012 Golf Industry Show in Las Vegas where I received one of the biggest honors of my career.  It was there that I received the 2011 Superintendent of the Year Award from TurfNet and Syngenta.  I say that "I" received the award but I could not even come close to this recognition if it were not for the hard work and support of my staff and I have to give all the credit to them.  I also have to thank Robin Boyer, Harrison Bay Head Golf Professional for nominating me and to Mr. Nixon and my lovely wife Melissa for their kind words in the article below.

Hard Work Pays of for Superintendent of the Year--Paul Carter

2011 TurfNet Superintendent of the Year Video

I am humbled and honored that the judges felt that Harrison Bay was worthy of this award considering the level of talent in this years pool of finalists.