APS November Meeting and Christmas Party 2019

Some of the Members and Guests

The Austin Pond Society held its final meeting of the year on November 18 in the form of a Christmas Party which was attended by around 45 members and guests. The entire evening was devoted to eating, mixing and mingling, Blue Santa and a presentation of checks to four different organizations. This was a marked change from previous parties when we have had some other entertainment in the form of contests, music, dancing and other such fun and games. As far as the food, what better way to celebrate Christmas in Texas than Rudy’s Barbecue with all of the fixin’s including pumpkin and apple pies. This was all delicious and very much enjoyed by the members.

The Austin Pond Society made four donations to charitable causes this year. They included Austin Pets Alive, KLRU for Central Texas Gardener, McBee Elementary School and Overton Elementary School for their programs of Hands on Gardening.

Amanda Williams from Austin Pets Alive attended to receive the check.

Formal and proper
How they really feel about the party

This year, as they have done for the past couple of years, Santa and Mrs Klaus attended in full costume along with a couple of helpers. They mixed and mingled and enjoyed the food and the company and made a presentation outlining what it is that Blue Santa brings to 4500 families in Austin that otherwise would be lacking gifts and food at Christmas. As per previous years, the APS members had brought in a whole tables worth of presents for the kids. One of the high points of the evening was when one of our Sponsors, Matt Boring of Texas Ponds and Water Features and two of his people, one dressed as a giant frog, brought in two large sacks of toys to add to the collection. A very nice gesture from Matt and thank you.

The evening closed with a small bit of business and discussion. We are still lacking a nominee for the position of Pond Tour Director which is a bit of a worry. We still have a some time but if any of you are interested, please contact our President, Barb Lenhardt at president@austinpondsociety.org

Hope to see you all next year at out first meeting which will be held at the usual place, Zilker Botanical Gardens on Monday, January 20, 2020. The Speaker will be from Travis County Master Gardeners and the subject will be Drip Irrigation. By the way, I can’t believe that we are looking at 2020 already. It seems like something out of a science fiction movie…

Thank you to everyone that makes Austin Pond Society such a great group to work with and for being such a fun bunch of crazy fish and pond enthusiasts.
Welcome to the start of a brand new year…

Written 11/26/2019

Austin Pond Society November Meeting 11-19-2018

The Austin Pond Society held their last meeting of the year in the form of a Christmas Party. The theme this year was Mexican and the food and decorations reflected that. Members came dressed in gay colors, some wearing hats and the main dish for the food was Tamales along with all of the fixins’. Members provided more Mexican dishes plus a myriad of deserts.

For the second meeting in a row, attendance was down. The weather had taken a turn for the worse with a cold front so maybe that kept some people away. Altogether, I counted twenty seven members present. Blue Santa and Mrs Klaus had to drop out at the very last minute due to being stuck in Chicago so a couple of other gentlemen, David and Scott filled in, making speeches and receiving all of the donated toys of which there were two very large sacks.

There was no business to conduct so the entire evening was focused on food and good company. This was Jeannie’s last meeting as El Presidente and I and the Membership would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her past five years of serving the Members of the Austin Pond Society.

The Members enjoying the Christmas Party 2018
The Christmas Trees that the AAGC Member Clubs decorated this year 2018
Video of Christmas Party

So the curtain drops on another fun year. I wonder what is in store for 2019?

Written 11/22/2018

Austin Pond Society Christmas Party November 2017

The Members at the Party 2017

The Austin Pond Society held their Annual Christmas Party at the November Meeting which is the last meeting of the year. Around 55 members showed up, many of whom were dressed in their Christmas finery and with several wearing strange looking hats decorated in a Christmas motif. All the members were really getting into the swing of things as on Sunday afternoon, several of them had come in to set up the tables and decorate the room in the Christmas Spirit and the setting was very conducive for a Christmas Party.

Christmas Party 2017 Slide Show from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

The food comprised of Roast Beef and Ham provided by our very popular Steven Monfrini, with all of the fixings many of which were supplied by the members who also supplied the deserts and appetizers. There was a lot of food but by the end of the evening, it was all gone. There were several bowls of punch to drink, some with and some without so the members had a choice.

Christmas Party 2017 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

The guests of honor were Mr and Mrs Klause from the Austin Police Department who were here to pick up the many gifts that the members had each brought in for the kids in need so they would at least get a gift on that special day.

Among the several things available to the members were a Blackjack Table complete with a professional croupier the proceeds of which went towards the Mayfield Ponds Project. The players each donated $10:00 to the cause and played until they lost all of their money. There was another game in which the members had to do something with Candy Canes but I have no idea what that was.
There was also an area that was in the business of making funny hats complete with flashing lights for anyone brave enough to wear such a contraption and enter into the Funny Hat Contest to be held later in the evening.

Christmas Party 2017 food line from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

The first part of the evening was devoted to the very important business of feeding our faces which we all proceeded to do with much gusto. Following that, Jeannie our President took charge as she went through the very small amount of business that needed to be conducted. The main and very important part was the appeal for someone, anyone to step up to fill the vacancy for the Pond Tour Chairman without whom, we will not have a Pond Tour as we know it, next year. She then introduced the new Board all of whom with the exception of Keith as Secretary, are all returning members. The New Board officially takes over January 1 of next year. Following the announcements, Jeannie called upon Ted Paone as this past two year’s Pond Tour Chairman and presented him with an Honorarium for all of his efforts.

Christmas Party 2017 Business from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

With the business out of the way came the very difficult task of choosing the Tallest Hat Winner along with other members who were sporting all kinds of flashing and blinking contraptions on their heads. Everyone really got into the spirit of things.
The winner of the Tall Hat was Catherine Bilbrey with Nancy Reinert as the runner up.

Christmas Party 2017 Crazy Hats from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

Another member, Karl Tinsley brought in his latest work of interest which is a Sand Table that he had constructed along with all of the programing that it takes to make it work. Basically, it is comprised of a flat box about 2 inches high and about 2 feet square with a glass cover sitting on a small table. In this box is a covering of sand on the bottom and a single large ball bearing. Karl has written software that drives the ball bearing into marking grooves in the sand in a designated pattern including his favorite Alpacas, of which he and his wife Linda own several. It is fascinating to watch as the bearing moves up and down creating pictures in the sand.

Quote from Karl
The sand table uses a magnet mounted on a computer-controlled mechanism to move a steel ball through sand, creating stunning designs. The table and the designs it draws were created by Karl Tinsley. You can see some videos of the table on my youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChLaaBO5pY1QpVtX9WOEYiw.

Here are some of the sand pictures that Karl has created

He has also put together a short movie showing the ball in action.

With the food and drink all gone and no more fun and games to play, the evening gradually wound down until the few remaining members stripped off the table cloths, straightened up the room and closed the doors on another fun and successful year for the Austin Pond Society. All that remains is to wish everyone out there, Happy Holidays and we hope to see you next year.

Our first meeting for 2018 will be on January 15 at the Zilker Gardens Botanical Center starting as 6:30 pm. Hope to see you there.

Don’t forget to keep checking the website especially in the MarketPlace section as the availability of used equipment and pond plants is always changing. If you have any of the aforementioned equipment or plants that you want to sell or give away, use this link to fill out the form.

Austin Pond Society October Meeting 2015


The Austin Pond Society held its October meeting on Monday, October 19 at the usual meeting place, Zilker Botanical Gardens Meeting Room. It was attended by about 30 members who enjoyed a meal of Chines Food provided by Bamboo Bistro, one of our sponsors.  Members brought desserts to complete the meal. We are still looking for a Hospitality person to provide us with these meals. Not that there was anything wrong with the food from Bamboo Bistro. In fact, it was delicious but there is nothing like a home cooked meal.Bamboo

The meal was served at 6:30 pm and as usual, the first 30 minutes were dedicated to meeting, eating and drinking. At 7:00 pm, Jeannie Ferrier, APS President opened the business part of the meeting by referring to the fact that we had a lot to get through with nomination of Board Members for the upcoming year plus judging the pictures for the APS 2016 Calendar and the presentation that was going to be made by Matt Boring of Texas Ponds and Water Features.

The first order of business as outlined by Darren Bayhi, was the voting process to select winners and runners up in the Photography Contest. All of the entries were at the back of the room and laid out in the four different categories, Fish, Ponds, Plants and Wildlife. All of the pictures must be associated with ponds or taken in or around a pond. Each voting member was issued four different tickets that reflected the different categories on which the member had to write his or her number of choice.

The next order of business was nominations for members to the 2016 Board. Our bylaws require that we have a nominating committee that this year, comprised of Steven Monfrini, Barbara Lenhardt and David Slimp. Even though several of the current Board are willing to continue in their position this upcoming year, our by-laws require that they be nominated and be voted in at the next meeting.

Of the current Board, Jeannie Ferrier, the President was nominated to continue as were Julienne Smith as Secretary, Glen Hubenthal as Historian/Photographer, Cynthia Bennett as Parliamentarian, Barbara Lenhardt as Programs/Special Events, Betty Blackson as Librarian and yours truly, Francis Allcorn as Webmaster. The following positions are still open and we are looking for responsible volunteers to step up and fill the gaps, Treasurer, Publicity, Membership and Hospitality.

We had one self-nomination by Tad Paone to fill the role of Pond Tour Director. All of the nominated positions will hopefully be confirmed at the November Meeting along with volunteers to fill the remaining vacancies.

Following the nominations for the 2016 Board, the winners and runners up of the Photo Contest were announced plus the overall winner (the one with the most votes) as the Calendar Cover. The pictures are also used as the lead in picture on the Welcome Page of the website and Facebook page, to coincide with each month.

With the business out of the way, it was time for our speaker, Matt Boring of Texas Pond and Waterscapes to make his presentation. His topic was “Pond Preparation for the Winter”. He outlined all of the usual steps to take and fielded a few questions from the floor. He then made a presentation on some of the larger ponds he helped to build.  Finally he showed all of the steps it took to build a pond for one of our members who was on this year’s Pond Tour, Dan Mackay.  This was a very difficult project and it took much longer than he had anticipated but it turned out to be an absolutely beautiful pond. I was very impressed when I photographed it during the Tour and am even more impressed after I heard how difficult it was to build.

After Matt had completed his presentation, there was the usual drawing for the floor prizes and then Jeannie adjourned the meeting at 8:20 pm.

Below is a video of the Business Section of the meeting:

October Business Meeting Revised 2015 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

Below is a video of Matt Boring’s presentation:

Presentation Matt Boring October 2015 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

The next meeting will be the final one for the year. It’s hard to believe that the year has already slipped by and got away from us yet again. Mark the date on your Calendars, November 16. We will have a meal which I believe (hopefully, will be a roast of some sort with all of the fixin’s and lots of deserts supplied by the members. Following the meal, which will take up a lot of the evening, there will be socializing and dancing. Yes, you read that correctly, DANCING. So put on your best bib and tucker and your dancing shoes, bring along a desert and a very big appetite and come and enjoy yourself. We encourage all of you to dress up for the occasion. Heck, even I am scratching around trying to find something other than shorts to wear. Let me see, I think I got a Tux somewhere. Where the heck is it? Now I remember, I loaned that to a friend but darned if I can remember which one. How about a suit and tie? No, I gave all of my suits to Goodwill the minute I retired but I did keep one tie to be buried in. Guess I’ll stick with the shorts and an ugly sweater.

Oh yes, just a reminder that IF you are interested in filling any of the four vacancies on the Board, you can nominate yourself or have another member nominate you at the November Meeting when we vote on the nominations. Please, please think about volunteering as we do need new blood.

We have two items of scheduled business on the docket. One will be to see if we have any more nominations and then to vote in the new Board for 2016. The other will be to make a presentation to Blue Santa a check for $1500 from the Pond Tour proceeds.  Please remember to bring along a small gift to give to a needy kid in Austin as a part of the Blue Santa Program.

Hope to see you there.

We do not meet in December as it comes way too close to Christmas. The next meeting in the New Year will be January 18, 2016