Friday, October 6, 2017

September 2017 Weather Summary

Dr. Kevin Frank from Michigan State University said that it seemed as if August and September switched places this year. I couldn't agree more. September had five days with high temperatures above 90 degrees. The rest of 2017 had only one, as June 12th got to 90.0 degrees exactly. The highest temperature at Leslie Park was 91.9 (September 22nd,) which was in the middle of a stretch of seven days with high temperatures above 85 degrees and had all five of the 90 degree-plus days. The lowest temperature was 41.5 (10th,) while the average was 64.6 degrees.

We got 1.34 inches of rain at Leslie Park's weather station during September while Huron received less than one inch. The hurricanes that hit Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico kept high pressure and clear skies above Michigan for most of the month. The rain fell on six different days, with the largest amount coming on the 4th (0.77 inches.) The next highest rainfall was 0.32 inches, just three days later. That meant just a quarter of an inch of rain fell from September 8th through the end of the month. That week of hot temperatures also fell in the last half of the month, so these factors combined to make the grass think it was mid-summer. Only 2 days recorded more than a tenth of an inch. That brings the total so far to 26.11 inches for 2017.

As I write this on October 6th, we have gotten 0.27 inches of rain today, so we hope we have turned the corner on the dry weather.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Fence near Oak Cliff

When the Oak Cliff apartments went in along #8 at Leslie Park, we knew that the increase in non-golfers in that area would be significant. We decided that a more apparent delineation of the golf course boundary was needed. We opted for a fence similar to the one we put on #12, along Traver Road.

Posts going in.

The fence ended up being nearly 900 feet long.

In this shot taken from the fairway looking back, you can see the Oak Cliff apartment complex.

From the tee, the fence is well hidden.

It does provide a tangible out of bounds, as well as a reminder to stay off the golf course, if you are not playing.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Baby Turtles

Yesterday, one of the Natural Area Preservation crew noticed that the turtle eggs they had moved to our turtle nesting mounds (Read more HERE) were hatching. Here are some pictures of the little guys.

And a couple of videos.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

August 2017 Weather Summary

August 2017 had an average temperature of 68.6 degrees, down about 4 degrees from July. The high temperature was 87.6 (August 2nd) and the lowest recorded temperature was 46.7 (25th.)

We got 2.58 inches of rain at Leslie Park's weather station during August. The rain fell on eight different days, with the largest amount coming on the 17th (0.80 inches.) Five days recorded more than a tenth of an inch. That brings the total so far to 24.77 inches for 2017.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Barn Painting

When I first started at the City of Ann Arbor in 2009, one of the first things I noticed was the beautiful 100-plus-year-old barn. Unfortunately,the exterior had not been painted in the memory of anyone working at the course.

I set about trying to find someone who would be willing and able to undertake this task. I contacted historic barn preservation groups and farmers. I called painting companies and general contractors. I either got no response or an estimate that was well into five figures. I did find one barn restoration expert. He looked at the barn and had many things he wanted to do, in addition to painting the barn.  His cost estimate was not spectacularly high. All looked good for us to finally get the barn painted. When the city contacted him to get his tax information, he started complaining about the government regulations and refused to give any tax information for billing purposes. Another dead end.

Finally, the barn was in such a state that we could not ignore it anymore and the City Park Operations crew had to paint it. They rented a lift and bought 110 gallons of paint. The results were striking.

The barn in 2009

The barn today.

The first coat goes on the east side.

You can see the barn back in 2014.

From near #10 green in 2017.

This is a picture of one of the bat houses we mounted on the barn in 2012.

The south side (toward #17 tee) of the barn was worn the most.

I think this was taken in 2011.

The flag looks crooked due to the perspective of the camera. I hope.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

July 2017 Weather Summary

At the end of last month's weather summary, I said that the month of June was boring. I promise to never say anything like that again.

July 2017 had an average temperature of 72.2 degrees, up about 3 degrees from June. The high temperature was 88.8 (July 19th) and the lowest recorded temperature was 50.3 (July 25th.)

What really gets interesting is when you start to look at the rain we got in July. We got 4.13 inches of rain, which is just above the 3.47 inches we have gotten in the last seven years. Unfortunately, 98% of that came within one seven day period, between July 7 and July 13. You might also remember that this is right before the City Championship at Leslie Park. Then the precipitation stopped. Technically, we got 0.06 inches of rain for the rest of the month, but that came over three different days. Eighteen days with appreciable rainfall. There were only 3 days where the high temperature was below 80 degrees during that time span, and one of those days was 79.2 degrees. The maximum amount of rain on one day was 2.07 inches. (July 7th.) There were seven total days of rain and two of those were over an inch. July 10th saw 1.01 inches fall.

Average windspeed was 1.1 mph. The highest recorded sustained windspeed was 33 mph, on the 12th, although these numbers are suspect, because we had an electrical surge at the barn during one of the storms. Along with frying the COM ports on the irrigation computer, it did something to the weather station. Now it only seems to record windspeed and humidity during daylight hours. I tried changing the battery, but that did not work, so must contact support at Davis instruments for some help with this issue.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Turtle Eggs and Sand Piles

When the Traver Creek Project was started, one of the most interesting parts was the turtle stipulation. In order to begin the creek renovation, a permit was submitted to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ.) To satisfy the MDEQ permit of the project, turtles and other herptofauna were relocated from the two inline detention basins (AKA ponds on holes #12 and #17) on Traver Creek to the pond on #8. There are at least four large snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) and numerous painted turtles(Chrysemys picta) in Traver Creek and there was concern over what would happen to these turtles during and after the project was completed. To help them after the project, four sand piles were created for the turtles to use as nesting areas. 

Last month, a painted turtle nest was discovered at Argo Canoe Livery. The nest was located in a high traffic area and the probability of successful hatching was low, so Natural Area Preservation (NAP) was called in to move the nest to a better location.

Argo and NAP staff locate the eggs.

The eggs after excavation. It is very important to have the eggs remain in the same orientation for proper development.

The eggs were moved to one of the sand piles at Leslie Park and covered with a predator exclusion screen. This makes it difficult for raccoons and other animals to dig up and eat the eggs.

While NAP was working, they discovered a snapping turtle nest in the same pile. The covered that nest with a predator exclusion screen, as well.

NAP also puts signs out so that people know what the screens are for and to leave them where they are.