APS April Meeting 2019


The view out of the back window looking towards Zilker Park and the City of Austin.

With frightening regularity, the calendar once more moved to the third Monday of the month bringing with it, the Austin Pond Societies Monthly Meeting held as usual in the Zilker Botanical Gardens Clubhouse. This meeting was our Annual Plant Swap when our members bring in their surplus plants both of the garden and pond variety. The one stipulation is that if by chance, anything you bring in is not taken by another eager Ponder or Gardener, then it must return home with the original owner. That turned out not to be the case this time around as the offerings were pretty slim compared to previous plant swap meetings which is surprising considering that this was our best attended meeting of the year with about forty members showing up.

Along with the Swap and at the same time, Darren Bayhi was holding a re-potting seminar for anyone interested in “How to re-pot Lilies” which included both Tropical, Hardies and also Lotus.. As the swap was drawing to a close, more and more people stopped by Darren’s table to ask questions and watch his demonstration.

Prior to the swap, many members had volunteered to help set up the tables and kiddie pools used for this event. For this, they were given the opportunity of having first dibs at whatever took their fancy before the main body was let loose. With the small number of plants on offer, this was a good decision on their part.

Prior to the actual swap and following a meal of hot dogs with all of the fixin’s topped off by various deserts brought in by the members, Barb Lenhardt, President, had some business to offer which included a discussion by Ted Paone, who talked about the upcoming Tour with the membership. He outlined the Charities that will benefit which includes Central Texas Gardner on KLRU-TV, Austin Pets Alive, and Donor Choice, a charity which funds projects for teachers and students. Prior to his presentation, Ted was awarded the Koi Person of the Year Award voted on by the Members present for his efforts with the Pond Tours.

Ted was followed by Mike Peppers, our new Treasurer who outlined the budget for the Members along with many apologies for the lateness of the report. With the budget voted on and passed by the Membership and there not being anymore business, it was time to get on with the important event of the day which of course, was the Plant Swap.

Following the aforementioned reward for volunteering, they were allowed out the door first followed after a few minutes by the rest of the Members. The plants were taken in record time and the clean up started by those same volunteers who we thank for their efforts.

The next meeting will be on May 20th. The Speaker will be Katie Boyer of the US Fish and Wildlife and she will be talking about Monarch Butterflies. As these are another of Nature’s species that are in trouble due to man’s incompetence in managing the Planet, then it would be well worth our while to see what we can do to help save this species.

Hope to see you there.

Written 4/17/2019

Losing a Friend and Associate…


DSC_5518-3

Rodney and Keith

Life even at it’s best can be very fragile and fickle as we recently found out. We humans, for all of our own arrogance and self beliefs do not have any control of life itself which can be taken from us in the blink of an eye.

Over this Christmas period, one of our Austin Pond Society Board Members, a young fellow of 35, passed away after a very short illness. Two weeks ago, he and his Partner Rodney who is also a Board Member, attended a Christmas Party at the APS President’s house. Keith was not quite his normal cheerful self putting it down to a bout of the flu which had caused him to miss the last Board meeting.

A week later, his Partner called to inform us that Keith was in the hospital and the day after Christmas, Keith passed away. He will be missed in many ways. He was always cheerful and never had a bad word to say about anyone. He was helpful wherever he could be and very talented as he could manipulate the programs on his computer far better than most. He also had the fastest thumbs I have ever seen on the tiny keyboard of his smartphone. Our sympathies are with his Partner, Rodney that he leaves behind who being the older of the two exclaimed, “It is not fair. It should be the other way around. Keith was supposed to look after me as we grew old together.”

Unfortunately, no one ever said that life was fair.

Rest in Peace Keith. You will be missed. Rodney, you have our condolences.

Written 12/27/2017