Zilker GardenFest 2016

DSC_1766Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin, Texas held their annual GardenFest this past weekend on both Saturday and Sunday. I attended to get pictures and write a story but also as a volunteer to man the Austin Pond Society table.

My shift was not due to start until 3:30 pm and I arrived around 1:00 pm so that I could wander around and take pictures. The Parking lot was already pretty full when I got there but as it was reserved strictly for volunteers, was well controlled.

Note: If you click on any picture, it will become full size and then you can use the side arrows to move from one to the next. Use the “Escape” key to get back to normal size.

I walked in the back gate and up the hill and the first thing I saw was Steve Blackson working the controls of a large train system with several different trains and carriages running around them. I knew that this was another of his interests besides being a member of the Pond Association. I stayed and watched for ten minutes or so and then made my way up the hill taking picture of the different exhibits and stalls which were selling all kinds of different things. I recognized many of the vendors from last year and although the layout was a little different,there looked to be just as many.

The Food Court was doing a booming business and this year, the GardenFest sold beer brewed by local breweries which also seemed well supported. I ran into several people that I knew and stopped and chatted for a while. I even had one lady recognize me from my coaching days with the River City Rangers.

I ran into another Pond Society Member and chatted to her for a bit.  We were standing by the big waterfalls in the Prehistoric section and there was this family taking pictures and asked if either of us could take a family picture of them. I pointed at Mary and she pointed back to me muttering something about me being the photographer. I took the camera phone and was lost trying to make it work. The guy came over and told me I had it backwards and showed me what to do. There was me with a $1500 camera hanging around my neck and I couldn’t even work his smart phone. Go figure…I eventually took some pictures but have no idea what they looked like.

At the duly appointed time of 3:30 pm, I took over helping to man the Austin Pond Society table. Our main focus this year besides trying to get new members was to spread the word about the upcoming Pond Tour and most of the literature on the table was addressed towards this goal. I shared the time spot with Ted Paone who is also this year’s Pond Tour Director. It was very interesting watching him work. As soon as someone, anyone paused and showed some interest, Ted was on them making his sales pitch and he was very good with it. Me, I just sat there and listened and only chimed in if there were more than one group or if I thought he had forgotten something. This was the easiest hour and a half I have ever spent as  a volunteer. Thanks Ted.

I did not return on Sunday having performed my mandatory duty on Saturday and with very little in the way of changes as regards all of the pictures that I took. Instead, I went hiking not content with climbing the hills at Zilker Botanical Garden the day before.

Below are pictures showing the beauty of Zilker Botanical Gardens.

Below are more pictures of the GardenFest 2016.

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