Inspiration is a fickle beast. When you are firmly in its clutches you are like a demon possessed. When you are hunting for it though, you can be truly lost in the wilderness. My friends, I have been lost deep in the forest on a long and tiresome hunt as of late.
My lack of success on this particular pursuit has not been entirely without merit. You see, the last few months here in the Canadian Maritimes have not exactly been a down home kitchen party. We went from record snow falls, ice stor
I am a big fan of Game of Thrones. Really dig the HBO interpretation, and have been into the books by George RR Martin for quite some time. It is a compelling tale, full of complex story lines and even more complex characters. The personal stories of the characters themselves are one of the keys to the success of the franchise. The main characters in the story are neither good or bad, up nor down, black nor white... they are human; and with that comes all the baggage of a truly human tale.
I have had a great deal of time to think over the last few weeks. Lots of time. Much of it spent blowing endless mountains of snow off our precious putting surfaces. Here is but a taste...
The above photo is a shot of the first pass across our putting green... on April 8th 2015. We finished clearing it ten hours later).
All of this alone time got me to thinking about the illusion of control. As I become more seasoned, the notion that we have dominion over how things progress becomes
A couple of weeks ago another great post came through the TurfNet Turf Blog Aggregator. Andrew Hardy, the superintendent at the Pheasant Run Golf Course (just outside Toronto, Canada), was writing about the difficulties he had been facing with regards to his blog (The Argument for being Social).
Mr. Hardy has been blogging for quite some time now and has garnered quite a following. He is a very thoughtful writer and is not shy about sharing information about the golf course along with a few
It has been interesting lately watching my 12 year old son, Lucas, embark on a new hobby. He has become consumed with all things bird related. He is watching, photographing, sketching, painting, feeding, and most importantly, enjoying birds. The other day as we were driving in town he remarked that he "never knew that there were so many birds around." We discussed that the birds had always been there, he just had not put his intention on taking notice of them before.
Intention is a powerful
"The highest good is like water. It flows in places men reject and so is like the Tao." Lao Tzu
As greenkeepers we have a very interesting relationship with water. In one breath we curse it, and with the next we welcome it home like the prodigal son. We watch it destroy what we work so hard to create, while at the same time watch with awe as it gives life to the very creation we tend. We respect the science behind it, while all along trying to perfect the art of managing it. Long story shor
The greatest gift you can give to somebody is your own personal development.
I used to say, "If you take care of me, I will take care of you."
Now I say, "I will take care of me for you, if you will take care of you for me."
- Jim Rohn
It is always a tough time of the season to write original content. Look around the internet, newspapers, or any magazine and somebody has an article with a few bits of wisdom and usually a list of some sort. I struggled with coming up with a new format,
Every now and again we get to be part of something wonderful that takes us out of our ordinary life and leads us somewhere special. You can't always put a name to it, but you know that being a part of such an occurrence makes you feel like you are one of the luckiest people on the earth.
I was fortunate enough to be involved in one such event a couple of weeks back. I gathered with my parents, my brothers and extended family in Sydney, Cape Breton to celebrate the life of my grandmother, Ali
On two different occasions this past week I attended talks that reflected on the concept of "home". Ironically, both talks were given by former American citizens who, until they had moved to Prince Edward Island, had not yet felt as though they had "come home". I began to reflect on the notion of home, both in the intimate sense of an actual abode, and the broader connection we have to a place or time.
We all come from somewhere. The place we grew up will always reside in our memories, and
I stumbled across an interesting question on Twitter a while back. Posed by consultant John Bladon, it read:
It was an interesting post to me for a few reasons. I know that business is business, but I always liked to think that on the turf side of things our shared trials and tribulations overshadow our differences. I love that when I ask a question on TurfNet or hit up a local super at the conference seminar there is no hesitation with an answer... turf guys just want to help.
I recently had the good fortune of attending the movie The Giver with my oldest daughter, Maria. We had both read the book a couple of years back and were excited to see the show. Thankfully we were not disappointed. The story examines the basic human condition and how we go to extreme lengths to shield ourselves from pain and suffering. The lasting impact of this is that whenever we work hard to shelter ourselves from the pain of our emotions, we also end up cutting ourselves off from the best
Here at Fox Meadow we have what I am sure is not a unique problem. Back when the course was built the original owner had a vision for a grand clubhouse and grounds. No expense was spared including a large number of elaborate gardens, a beautiful fountain feature, and a fantastic view of the Charlottetown harbor. Undoubtedly it makes a great first impression of the property, but not much forethought was given to the cost of long term maintenance.
Fast forward 15 years. Our program to mainta
I had one of those rare conversations with a good friend this past week. It was the kind of chat that leaves you feeling spent afterwards, but it was worth it in so many ways. Our talk wasn't one of surface banter that we as a culture so often engage in. You know the way most of us converse most of the time; both parties say lots of words, but in the end don't really say much at all. Nope, our conversation was of a different breed, and is one that we all need to be having with our friends and fa
"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these." George Washington Carver
So much of the information we ingest on a daily basis is based on judgment. Take to Facebook, Twitter, or even your daily newspaper, and you will find no shortage of opinions on any range of topics. In our race to share, like, or tweet, someth
As superintendents, we are masters of the plan. We are constantly generating schedules, programs and standards for our courses. We work with our management, architects, arborists and agronomists to chart the course for our properties and make them all they can be. But then life happens, nature happens, and our best laid plans go astray. It is at this point that the best greenkeepers shine. They are able to take the hiccups and trap doors and use them to their advantage. Whether it is a major ra
With spring upon us (well, most of us anyway... it is still very cold with some snow on the ground in our neck of the woods), our thoughts turn to renewal, newness, and potential. The last one really struck me over this past weekend. As I was sitting staring at the instruments in my living room (upright piano, bass, fiddle and multiple guitars), I reflected on what tools like those mean to different people.
To artists, writers and musicians things like a blank canvas or a grand piano represe
A few weeks back I was reading through a blog I follow and fell upon this post: becomingminimalist.com i am flawed. It sums up the importance of owning up to our flaws and accepting them. It presents the premise that only when we face our flaws honestly and accept them, can we move forward and work towards change.
The blog spoke to me in a few important ways... the first reminding me of the power of awareness. Do you remember that old tag line during the little life lessons from the ABC aft
Have you ever wondered where the title for this blog came from? It is a common enough refrain, "be mindful of such and such...", but what does it really mean? In the final installment of this three part series we are going to try to answer the question, what is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a meditation practice that has its roots in Buddhism dating back to around 2500 years ago. It not a religion per say, rather a disciplined approach to mental well being. In recent years mindfulness has caug
Fundamental # 2: Eating Well
Reflect for a moment on how much time we spend fine tuning our nutritional programs for our turf. We research the latest technologies, soil test, tissue test, and use complicated cocktails in an effort to dial in the exact needs of the plant. We spend a great deal of time, effort and money to build a nutritional foundation that will allow our turf to stand up the stress and rigors of the long golf season.
Now, shift gears and think about how much effort you p
Fundamental # 1 is physical fitness. There are not too many things in this life that give you better return on your investment than getting into shape. Despite the prevailing wisdom, it doesn't have to cost much either. It changes everything, from the shape of your waistline to your state of mind... and when your outlook changes, life gets more manageable.
Our intrepid bloggers here at TurfNet have been touting the benefits of getting in shape for years. You can watch the Rockbottum crew he
Recently I had the chance to catch up on a few webinars (one of the main perks of TurfNet). One that I particularly enjoyed was Frank Rossi's "Plant Health, Plant Smealth." In it Dr. Rossi talks about the role of plant health elicitors in our turf programs. He speaks to their efficacy in some cases, but is quick to caution us not to become too dependent on them as a quick fix. The one line that stuck with me was, "we get distracted."
Dr. Rossi made the critical point that if we see these pr
Just the other day my wife told me a story an acquaintance of hers shared. It was the story of a little girl having a difficult time adjusting to her newborn sibling. The little girl had been an only child for the first five years of her life and was now fearful that her parents wouldn't have enough love left for her after they loved the new baby. We've all have heard the tale in one version or another and the answer is always the same; Love grows with each new child that we embrace. This little
It's mid January and we are well under way with 2014. We have shaken of the dust of last year, got out our pen and paper and are ready to go to town with our long list of New Year's resolutions. This year is going to be different, I can feel it, it's going to be the best ever (screeeetcccchhh ? insert the sound of the needle dragging across the vinyl).
Hold on. Let's take a step back and think about this for a minute. Where is your list of resolutions from last year? Does it look disturbingl
I admit it. I am a sucker for this time of year. Once the snow starts falling, the tree is up and the eggnog starts to flow, it can be the very best time of the year. For most of us, the general business of the golf season is wound down, so it can be a great time to sit back and relax.
Yet the holidays can get away from us if we let it. If all we focus on are Black Fridays, Cyber Mondays, and all the shopping days until Christmas eve, it can be easy to lose focus. The marketing machine is i
"One forgives to the degree that one loves." Francois de La Rochefoucauld
I had planned on a different post this week, but the recent death of Nelson Mandela changed my mind. I am not sure if there has been another person in my lifetime who has effected as much positive change as he did. He was many things to many people; a revolutionary, a saint, a shrewd politician... but for me personally his greatest lesson came in his ability to forgive.
Mandela spent 27 years of his life imprison