Austin Pond Society 25th Pond Tour for 2019.


Yellow Crowned Night Heron nest with three babies.

The Austin Pond Society held their annual pond tour over the weekend of June 1-2 returning after missing out on having a tour last year, 2018. The size of the tour was also cut back to a more manageable number easily covered on each day, Saturday for the South Side of the Colorado River and Sunday for the north side.

The tour had a few of the spectacular favorites plus several new ponds which have never been on the tour before. All, regardless of the size, had something to offer in the way of beauty and in some cases, originality. One of the highlights included a nest of Yellow Crowned Night Herons complete with three babies that appeared to almost be ready to fly the roost. Ironic that one of the pond owners natural enemies could hold so much fascination when babies are involved.The night pond that has been on the tour several times before was just as spectacular as it has always been.

If you click on a picture, it will enlarge and you can use the side arrows to move along. Use the “escape” key to return to normal size.

I have put together two slideshows which takes about twenty minutes to view but is well worth it as it shows the spectacular beauty of ponds of different sizes and types and all of the accompanying work that has gone into the landscaping and plants and flowers that make up the whole garden. One pond even had three live donkeys which attracted as much attention as the ponds for the younger members on the tour.

All in all, the tour was a resounding success and even though smaller than previous tours, has probably set a new standard in both number of ponds and quality.

Written 6/5/2019

Austin Pond Society SPLASH! Party 2016


DSC_2278Today, the Austin Pond Society held the SPLASH! Party that always precedes the upcoming Pond Tour. This “Party” is really a way to get the Owners and the Volunteers together to pick up their packets of instructions and money boxes that they will each need on their respective day of the tour. In some cases, the owners get to meet the volunteers that will be working their ponds for the very first time.

As a part of the way to entice both parties to attend, the Pond Society puts on a brunch to any and all who show up. This year, it was breakfast tacos with fruit or donuts for dessert.

A special thanks goes to Gary and Cathy Ragan for hosting this fun event. The Ragan’s have hosted an Open House party a couple of years ago for members of the Austin Pond Society. They have this really pretty stream that flows alongside of a double deck ending in a small pond at the bottom. It is a considerable drop in about 25 ft in length.

As with all of these pictures, if you click on anyone of them, it will make the pictures full size and then you can move along using the side arrows. Tap on the “Escape” key to get back to normal.

They also have a cute collection of “Rubber Ducky’s”and a fish statue.

Gary has recently installed a Petanque court which is a bit like Boce.The purpose of the game is to lob a heavy ball with enough backspin to get it to stop close to the smaller ball. There is probably a lot more to it than that, Several visitors were trying out their luck in playing and there was enough interest that the court was in use for the entire two hours of the get together. Ed Priest and Thierry Amisse are the petanque players who were giving instructions. Refer anyone interested to Gary Ragan at kragan@austin.rr.com

Below are a few pictures of the players enjoying themselves.

The Pond Tour Committee were very well represented, all wearing the red Tee Shirts designed to represent this year’s tour. All had different jobs to do handing out packages of instructions for the volunteers, money boxes for the owners which also included their list of instructions, serving the brunch and generally busy wherever you looked. We have to thank this dedicated group as without them all performing the various aspects of what it takes to put an event like this together, it just would not happen. Way to much work for one individual.

The Ragans have a beautiful yard both front and back. Below are pictures of some of the highlights

The rest of the pictures are of the members, volunteers and owners enjoying the food and the company.

Finally, but not last is the attention given us by Mollie, the 12 year old puppy.

Austin Pond Society May Meeting 5-16-2016


DSC_2123As usual, on the third Monday of the month at the Zilker Botanical Gardens, the Austin Pond Society held it’s May Meeting. This one was entitled Sponsor Night when many of our sponsors attend to introduce themselves and tell a little bit about their product. Many bring items for sale especially if they are in the retail business and are not pond builders and such.

Following our normal practice, we opened with a meal. This time we had chicken along with the many side dishes brought by the members and again was enjoyed by everyone. Jeannie, our President, brought the meeting to order and introduced a couple of new members. This was followed by the business section which was entirely made up of discussion about the upcoming Pond Tour. BJ made a plea for Volunteers to man the ponds as we are still at least 25 or so people short. Anyone that may be interested can check out the website at www.austinpondsociety.org and register on line or email Mary at volunteers@austinpondsociety.org. For a four hour shift, you get a free tee shirt and a ticket to visit the rest of the ponds on the tour plus all you can eat at the SPLASH party.

With the business out of the way, the mike was handed over to Barb to introduced the sponsors who each spoke about the business they own and the work they perform. Unfortunately, I developed camera problems as this part of the meeting was going on and do not have them on video. My apologies.

Following their spiel, the meeting was opened for the members and sponsors to get together during which, Jeannie announced the winners of the door prizes many of which had been donated by the sponsors.

The meeting came to a close around 8:30 pm.

Below is the video of the meeting and below that, a bunch of pictures. If you click on any picture, it will enlarge them and you can use the side arrows to move the pictures along. Use the “Escape” key to get back to normal.

APS May Meeting 5-16-2016 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

Up and Coming Artist?


The very last house that I visited on the Pond Tour this year had a display of artwork by a young up and coming artist, Rachel Sellars. I chatted with her for a bit and asked if I could photograph her work and put it on my blogsite. She was more than willing to allow me to do that so I have taken the opportunity to show off her work.
If you are interested in any of her pieces, you can contact her at sellarsr@sualumni.net and her website is www.artworkbyrachelsellars.com
If you click on the pictures, they will enlarge to full screen and make much better viewing.

Austin Pond Society-Post Tour Review 2014


White Lily

White Lily

AUSTIN POND SOCIETY- POST POND TOUR MEETING June 16, 2014. Images and Videos by Francis

At the June 16th 2014 regular meeting of the Austin Pond Society, the membership had previously been asked to provide some sort of dish for a pot luck supper in honor of the passing of Sonja O’Sullivan, our long-standing Hospitality Chef.

Enjoying the meal

Enjoying the meal

The theme was Mexican but other than that, it was fair game for whatever the members decided to bring. We were not disappointed and there were some very interesting dishes making it very obvious to those of us single guys in the group, that we were missing out on good home cooked food. As usual, not wanting to inflict my not so hot cooking skills on anyone, I opted to bring a tin of cookies (definitely not home cooked nor interesting).

Following the dinner, President Jeannie brought us back from the pleasures of eating to the business in hand i.e. the Pond Tour. Karl, as Chairman and Head Honcho of the Tour, provided a running commentary as the slide show that Glen Hubenthal had put together, flashed across the screen. The owners that were present each gave a small summary of their thoughts and experiences and there was good feedback and ideas that we can incorporate in the next years Tour. It appeared that most if not all of the owners enjoyed the experience and Karl, not one to miss an opportunity, was plugging away about repeating on next years tour while they were still feeling good.

Karl -The Head Tour Honcho

Karl The Head Tour Honcho

Unfortunately, Glen, who was operating the computer for the slide show, ran into some technical difficulty and while he was trying to get it straightened out, Jeannie conducted what little business that we had and even squeezed in the drawing for the prizes that usually closed the meeting. She did mention that we were still looking for someone to take over the Hospitality position and also we had an opening for a Special Events person. Glen managed to get the slide show back up and running and those members still interested stayed to see it out. As it happened, there were no owners present for the missing/delayed video so no feelings were hurt.

BJ, the Other Main Organizer

BJ, the Other Main Organizer

The general consensus from the group and especially the owners, was that everything had run pretty smoothly and things had gone well. Many thanks to Karl and B.J. as the chief organizers and to the rest of the Board and the many volunteers without whom, we could not run the Tour and of course, the owners for opening their ponds and gardens to the public. Thank You All.

Below is a video of the meeting and it includes most of the slideshow. Apologies for the quality of the slideshow from my end as a video camera taking a picture of a video does not give very good results.

Post Pond Tour 2014 Review from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

If you want to view all twenty of the ponds on the Tour, use the following link.

Ripples Publication June 2014

The next meeting is Monday, July 21st starting at 6:30 pm at Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin. All are welcome including non-members.

I am still here, just busy…


2014tourlogo50
What has happened, you may say
how have I gone astray
what is it that kept me away
from writing in my blog today
as the weeks have passed on by
and nothing from me to give you joy.

Alas, there is but one of me
and as talented as I may be
can only work on one thing at a time
although several pieces I have in mind
many of which I will use here
when I have the other things clear.

My time has been taken out in the yard
preparing for the Annual Pond Tour
for which my ponds were volunteered
although happy am I to open the door
so people in my yard may go
and see the ponds that I have on show.

And if it was not enough of my time
I visited all of the Ponds on the Tour
and each one a video did make
happy the owners to participate.

Now I am working on those videos
cutting and splicing to make them flow
voice overs and music, titles and such
work to be done for the final touch

Then when happy am I with each one
to the next project which is fun
to write about every one of the ponds
until the video and words play like a song.

Out of this you may conclude
that plenty of ideas I have construed
for the next article that I write
will be in my blog I have set my sight
I thank you my readers who patiently wait
until I have the other things straight.

APS Follow Up Meeting for the Annual Pond Tour


APS 2013 Tour Logo

APS 2013 Tour Logo

True to form, the Austin Pond Society held it’s usual monthly meeting at the Zilker Gardens Meeting Room on the third Monday of June. This meeting immediately followed another very successful Annual Pond Tour in which twenty-three ponds were on display on Saturday and Sunday two of which were also shown at night.

Sonja's food

Sonja’s food

This meeting started with dinner provided by our own Chef, Sonja and consisted of Salad, Taco Meat and all of the fixin’s and as usual really hit the spot. We are so fortunate that Sonja has volunteered to be the person who feeds us at the meetings. It can’t be an easy job to think of a varied menu every three weeks. Last meeting, she was held up I believe in Houston on business and did not get back in time and we had to suffer through the good old American stand by, pizza. Not that I dislike pizza and in truth, would eat a lot more of it if I wasn’t trying to watch my weight but compared to what Sonja provides, pizza is way down the scale.

Following the enjoyable food, the real reason for us being there was brought to the floor led by Carl Tinsley, in his role as Chair of the Organizing Committee. This meeting was a little different in as much as it really consisted of major discussion of the Pond Tour. Many of the owners that had participated and shown their ponds attended and each in turn, spoke up of their impressions of the tour, what could be different and if they had any comments to pass on. There were several items that they brought up some of which provoked a lively discussion among the members. Most, if not all of the owners present classified the experience as being very enjoyable and it was easy to see that they had a lot of pride in showing off their ponds to the general public.

Like most of us, our ponds are generally secluded in our back yards to be enjoyed by family and close friends but not to the public in general. The Tour gave the owners an opportunity to show them off. It was enjoyable enough for most of them to state that they would seriously be thinking of doing it again next year.

I filmed the entire meeting for those of you that want to see yet a different version of the Tour. This one is accompanied by owners giving their impressions and the many comments from the floor. The first video is of the pre-meeting when everyone is enjoying Sonja’s delicious food followed by comments from our President. The second is all about the actual tour with the owners telling their very interesting stories. The third video is the remainder of the tour and then closing out with Carl thanking everyone who participated. Apologies for the quality of the video as I was filming it from the projector screen.

Owners, Guests and Pond Members, all in yellow...

Owners, Guests and Pond Members, all in yellow…

We took a group picture (above) of all of the attendees, pond owners, guests and regular members in their pond tour shirts. It’s a lot of yellow in one place.

I also took many pictures and as is my usual custom, turned them into a slide show. Enjoy and comment as you feel fit. Don’t forget to click on the “Like” button if you are pleased with what you see and the “Follow” button to be notified of new blogs.

2013 Post Tour Meeting from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

This video is of the early part of the meeting when everyone was enjoying Sonja’s scrumptious food and with El Presidente and then Carl Tinsley opening up the discussion prior to the Pond Tour meeting.

2013 APS Post Tour Meeting from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

This next video is of the Pond Tour with the comments from the owners and from the floor.

2013 APS Post Tour Meeting Slide Show 1 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

This last one is the completion of the tour and then Carl closing out the meeting.

2013 APS Post Tour Meeting Slide Show 2 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

Our next meeting will be on July 15 at the same place, Zilker Gardens starting at 6:30 pm. Hope to see you there. The website for the Austin Pond Society is http://www.austinpondsociety.org