APS July Meeting, 2019


The food line at the meeting.

The Austin Pond Society held it monthly meeting this past Monday, July 15 at the usual place, Zilker Botanical Gardens which was attended by 38 guests and Board Members. The evening meal comprised of Pizza and all of the fixin’s supplied by the Members. There was enough food to feed a small army but to do them justice, the Membership really worked hard to make a dent in it. Thank you Members for supplying the finishing touch.

Barb Lenhardt, our President opened the meeting following the meal and spent some time on the Business section of the meeting. One of the items discussed was of the large amount of funds in the bank account and what should we do about it. There were many suggestions and the Board will be working on the ideas in the future to spend down some of that surplus. Barb introduced our Speaker, our own Margaret Boeneke whose subject was “Tiny Ponds”. She had a very interesting slideshow and kept her audience involved.

Slide show of Margaret’s “Tiny Ponds”

Barb came back at the end with yet more business before closing out the meeting with the raffle.

This is the Business section of the meeting.

The next meeting is on August 19 and the Speakers will be BJ and Sam Jenkins talking about “Ponds 101” and their experiences and what they found out about building a pond when they built there’s a few years ago. Hope to see you there.

Written 7/16/2019

APS May Meeting 2019


Monarch Butterfly

The Austin Pond Society held their May Meeting this past Monday which was attended by around 40 of its Members. This meeting was a combination of Speaker Presentation and as it is also the last meeting before the Tour, a lot of time was dedicated to wrapping up the final details which included handing out the packages to the Owners and Volunteers.

The Members were treated to fried chicken with the fixins brought in by the members as were the deserts. Incidentally, none of the chicken remained at the end of the meal.

Prior to the Speaker’s Presentation, Barb, our President, went around the room asking if we had any new members and for them to say a bit about themselves. As it happened, at least four of the people and maybe more, were not pond people but were there to listen to the Speaker, Katie Boyer who is the Monarch Conservation Coordinator for the Southeast Region of the US Fish and Wildlife Services. Monarchs, it appears, are a popular subject. Our meetings are open to all and we welcomed them with open arms.

Following Barbs introduction, Ted, our Pond Tour Director had some words of wisdom to impart about the upcoming Tour. At this point it was time for the Speaker and she kept us interested for the next hour talking about a subject which is obviously her passion. The video below is of her entire presentation.

Katie Boyer

After Katie had finished, we carried on with our normal business most of which was Pond Tour related. BJ made a brief presentation on when and how to fertilize water lilies which of course opened up a discussion on the subject. Ted had more to say about the upcoming Tour and presented the Owners and Volunteers that were in attendance with their packages.

The evening closed with the drawing for the raffle which is always a lot of fun. The next meeting will be June 17 and it will be dedicated to the Pond Owners who had put their ponds on the Tour each of whom will be given the opportunity to discuss their experiences.

Written 5/25/2019

APS Meeting September 2017


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Koi Person of the Year for 2017 – Alejandro Villa

The Austin Pond Society held its September Meeting at the Zilker Park Meeting Room on the 18th of the month attended by almost forty of its members. There were several new faces in the group and a couple that we hadn’t seen in awhile. Always glad to see new and returning members.

They were treated to a meal of chicken, potatoes and gravy, rolls, salad and desserts, lots of desserts most of which was consumed by the hungry members, me included. Thank you Stephen. Following the meal, Jeannie Ferrier, the President, awarded the Koi Person of the Year Award to Alejandro Villa . It was originally voted on way back in the summer but Alex had missed a few meetings and this was the first opportunity to present the award.

Below is a video of the presentation.

Koi Person of the Year 2017 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

Following this presentation, Barbara Lenhardt, our Programs and Special Events Rep introduced the speaker for the evening, Jeff Price of Price Landscaping. His subject matter was the plants in and around our ponds and how to improve the appearance of our yards. He generated a lot of interest and there was a lot of Speaker/Audience participation. His presentation was well received.

Below is a video of Jeff and his presentation.

Jeff Price of Price Landscaping 2017 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

Jeannie then moved on to the Business Section of the meeting and discussed many things including the equipment for both the Mayfield and Zilker Park Projects which was delivered to her house yesterday, toys for Blue Santa who will be the Beneficiary at this year’s Thanksgiving/Christmas Party, AAGC and the survey that had been circulated and filled in by the members to name a few of the items.

As it is almost time to vote on the new 2018 Board. Julienne Smith, the current Secretary and head of the nomination committee took the floor and went down the list looking for nominations for the different Board positions. Even though she received nominations for most of the positions, many of which will be filled by returning officers, it was very noticeable that there were no nominations for the Pond Tour Chairman which, next to the President, is arguably the most important position each year. Without someone to lead this effort, there won’t be a Pond Tour and although the Tour is not called for in our by-laws, it is our main money raiser for our chosen charity. Without the Tour, we will not be making any donations or providing several hundred people a weekends worth of entertainment or at least twenty pond owners their opportunity to be famous for a day with a spot in the limelight. We will vote on the Board positions at next month’s meeting with final votes for any outstanding positions closing at the November meeting. The Nominating Committee is Julienne Smith as the Chair and BJ Jenkins and Philip Smith making up  the Committee. If you are interested in any of the positions on the Board, you can contact Julie at secretary@austinpondsociety.org . For more information regarding the various positions use this link.

Following the Nominating Committee, Jeannie then moved on to discuss the survey that we all filled out regarding the Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy (ZBGC) taking over Austin Area Garden Council (AAGC ). More can be read on this subject by Pam Penick. You will need to scroll halfway down the page to read about the interview between Cat Newlands, executive director of Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy and Pam Penick. The membership approved by a show of hands their approval of the agreement. This was the last of the business and the meeting closed following the drawing for the door prizes.

The Business Video of the meeting

Business Section September 18, 2017 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

A few of the members.

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Margaret on the left is the Librarian. Barb on the right, the Publicity/Special Events

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Julienne Smith and Philip

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Ellen Filtness and her husband. Rodney and Keith in the blue tees in the background.

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Nancy and Husband, Barb, Ted Paone,Jeannie with Jeff Price. Glen is in the background.

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A special guest…

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Good Food…

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Ted, Barb, Jeff and Jeannie

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Speaker Jeff Price

Post written 9/19/2017

APS Meeting August 2017


DSC_0837The Austin Pond Society held it’s monthly meeting on Monday August 21, 2017 at the usual time, 6:30 pm and the usual place, Zilker Botanical Garden Center. For a while, the Board Members outnumbered the guests but as the evening wore on, there were around 30 people in the room. They were treated to a meal of Tacos and Salad plus desserts brought in by the membership.

The Speaker’s for the evening were Tom & Sherry Gringas and their subject was  “Enhancing your Pondscape with Metalwork and Sculpture”. Tom teaches welding and the art of metalwork at ACC and Sherry is the designer of his projects. She also put together the wonderful slide show of their work. The presentation is marred by the poor sound quality due to yours truly forgetting the camera mic. Apologies all around.

Following the presentation, Jeannie had a small amount of business to conduct followed by the drawing for the door prizes, which incidentally, she was the lucky winner of one.  She always tells us that she buys prizes that she would like and this time, her wish came true. Well done Jeannie.

The meeting closed around 8:30 pm. The next meeting is on Monday,  September 18 and the Speaker will be Jeff Price from Price Landscape .  He will be talking about  “Landscape ideas for your yard ”. For those of you looking to change or make your yard a bit different, I’m sure that Jeff will have some great ideas. Hope to see you there.

This video is of Tom & Sherry Gringas presentation. Again, apologies for the sound content.

Gingras Metalwork Aug 2017 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

 
This video is of the Business part of the meeting. Same sound problem.

Business Aug 2017 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

 

Austin Pond Society September Meeting 2016


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Door Prizes

The Austin Pond Society held it’s September meeting at the usual location, Zilker Botanical Garden on Monday, September 19, 2016. This time, the Society was trying something different and instead of opening the meeting with the usual meal, they held a Swap or Sell meeting. Members who had items of Pond or Garden Equipment were encouraged to bring their wares and put them on display. As some of the items were fairly large, it was decided to hold that part of the meeting outdoors on the side of the building which meant that it had to be over by 7:00 pm as it was beginning to get dark. There were some interesting items on display, a push lawn mower, an electric train set, a pond filter and lots of miscellaneous stuff like plant pots, screening material and many different types of plants and many other things too numerous to list.

Following the Swap and Sell meet in which it appears that the plants were the most popular items, the meeting moved back indoors to enjoy Pizza and Salads and deserts brought by the Members before the start of business.

The main order of business for the evening was the participation and voting for the Calendar which is a very popular event for the year. Prior to that was a brief discussion by Jeannie, the President and Nancy Reinert about the invitation to all interested members to participate in converting a Pool to Pond seminar at Nancy’s house on Saturday. It was going to be a working event with the members quite literally getting their hands dirty as they helped to clean out Nancy’s existing Pool/Pond. Hers has been set up for four years and was in need of a plant clean-out and replacement and would show the interested  members just what it takes to make the conversion. You can read about that event at this link.Cleaning the Pool/Pond Conversion

The next order of business was given by Laura who outlined the vacancies on the Board and at the same time went around the room asking for volunteers. As with most small organizations, it is usually the same people that run the show and we are desperately looking for some new blood. The elections will be held at the October meeting. This meeting was looking for nominations. Following this, was the drawing for the door prizes.

The final event of the evening was the announcement of the different winners for the Calendar in which members had voted earlier in the evening. Their were four categories,
1) Ponds and pond features
2) Fish
3) Wildlife (“any insects, amphibians, birds, critters, etc. found around or in our ponds,” except fish)
4) Pond Plants
with a first, second and third place winners and the one with the most votes goes on the front page. This is always a popular event and there were some truly amazing pictures.dsc_3941

This was the final event of the evening and all that remained was for the members who had brought items which had not been sold having to re-load them into their cars to take them home. All in all, another popular meeting with about 45 members enjoying good company and good food.

As with all of these pictures, if you click on one it will enlarge and you can use the side arrows to move along. Use the “Escape” key to get back to normal.
Below is the video of the inside events.

APS September Meeting 2016 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

Zilker Gardenfest Spring 2015


Zilker Gardens in Spring from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

The gardens are indeed a thing of real beauty and I couldn’t resist in taking more pictures of the flowers already in bloom and of course, to share them with you.

Zilker Gardenfest 2015

I attended the Zilker Botanical Gardenfest last Saturday, May 28, partly as a volunteer to help man the Austin Pond Societies table but mainly to take pictures and report on the event. The start time for the general public was set for 10:00 am and I got there around 8:30 or so  planning on getting an early walk around to beat the throng of expected people. The weather was warm and sunny and it turned out to be a beautiful day.

Inside of the Garden Center Auditorium was the “This Land is Your Land” Flower Show so I made that my first port of call before the crowds arrived. I pretty much had the place to myself as I wandered around admiring the wonderful displays and taking as many pictures as I could. The artistry of some of these pieces is truly amazing. The timing had to be perfect for the flowers to be on show.

Zilker Gardens Flower Show 2015 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

I left the beauty of the Flower Show behind and started to walk through the Gardenfest. There were more than 100 booths and tents set up mainly in the normal parking areas under the trees which was called the Vendors Circle and extending all the way down the hill to the Rose Garden. As I strolled around, there were a great number of different wares on view including a lot of hand-made items. I was talking to one vendor and she was telling me that some of these storekeepers, including herself, spend their summers driving from show to show to sell what they have spent the winter months making.

Some of the items included clothes, art, glassware, ornaments, jewelry, things for pets, kitchen ware, wooden furniture, fans, cactus, pottery, spices and much, much more. There were booths that offered new windows or special house insulation or even rain gutters and yet another had a demonstration of a Hydroponic system for growing plants and vegetables. There were so many different things offered that it is impossible to name but just a few.

At 11:30, I took my place at the Austin Pond Society booth along with another member, Delaine Brady who I was meeting for the first time. Delaine was more than eager to talk to the many people who approached our table and I was more than content to sit back and only put in a word here and there when it was required. I didn’t need to say much as Delaine had it pretty much under control. We did not actually register any new members but gave out a lot of advice on how interested people could register and we handed out a lot of information. We got to meet some interesting people many of whom had ponds.

When our hour and a half was up for which incidentally, I was grateful for the time to sit and rest as it is very tiring walking up and down the hill inside Zilker Gardens. I went back and did one more circuit this time joining many throngs of people. I wandered around the booths slowly making my way back down the hill on the Escarpment Trail. I passed the Food Court where just about every type of fast food was available until I arrived at the Rose Garden where a stage was set up. On the way, I found myself in the Faerie Grotto and had taken a couple of pictures not realizing where I was before I decided to get out of there before the Leprechaun’s and Goblins got me and turned me into a frog or something like. Probably in my case, it would be a toad.

I had heard singing as I was making my way down the hill and the music sounded very interesting. I had never heard the artist before so I sat and listened for a while and of course, had the camera taking a video of the artist and his music. Unfortunately, he is very much in the shadow and is not too visible but his music is great. The wind played hell with the acoustics as it blew across the mic. I introduced myself to his sound man, Carlos Conseca and found out that the artist’s name is Jonray Higginbottom an extremely talented singer and musician. He played and sang on at least three different instruments, electric piano, mandolin and guitar. The link to Jonray’s website is http://www.jonraymusic.com
The link to Carlos Conseca’s website is http://www.facebook.com/cansecomusic

Jonray from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

In all. I took well over 200 pictures of just the booths and the people. The photography was a challenge with the different shades of light and shadows and the huge spread of white canvas everywhere I looked. I had to make many adjustments to even get close to a decent shot on many occasions. But then again, that is the fun of photography. I opted to put over a 100 of these pictures in a gallery for viewers to see. Clicking on the picture will get an enlarged view.


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Cleaning the Willy Birge Memorial Pond – March 2015


Cleaning the Ponds at Zilker 2015 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

One of the tasks that volunteers from the Austin Pond Society perform every year is to clean out the Willie Birge Memorial Pond located in front of the Meeting Room at the Zilker Botanical Gardens. Usually, the work happens the first weekend in March but this year, the weather was not kind and the work was delayed until this past weekend, March 14, 2015.

For as long as anyone remembers, the leader of the group of volunteers has been Darren Bayhi who is also the Membership Manager of the Austin Pond Society. He has so much knowledge of what needs to be done which not only includes draining the pond and cleaning it out but also to re-pot the lilies and lotus plus all of the other pond plants that call this pond their home. Luckily, apart from many Gambusia, a very small fish often called mosquito fish mainly because they do a good job of eating the mosquito larvae, the pond does not have any other fish to add to the difficulty. It was interesting to see the care that the volunteers gave to these tiny fish. When they were spotted mixed in the mud on the bottom of the pond, one or the other of the volunteers would very carefully pick them up and place them in a bucket of water put aside for this purpose.  Several frogs were also caught and kept safe to be returned after the pond was re-filled.

Along with Darren, his band of merry men and women composed of our President Jeannie Ferrier and her husband Steven Monfrini, our Secretary Julienne Smith and the rest, a happy group of men, Phil Prokaski, Charlie Melear, Chuck Graves and Bruce McDonald. I was also there but did not help out much as I was too busy trying to get a record of this event. At least, that was my excuse. It was pointed out several times that I was the only clean one in the group. The others were up to their collective ears in mud.

The group also worked on cleaning one of the smaller ponds further down the hill and also the Rose Garden Pond where they added plants and made adjustments to the new fountains that have very recently been installed. I told them I had a very important job but I don’t think they believed me…

The entire process took a little over five hours and the end result was that the pond was clean, the lilies and lotus were replanted and fertilized along with a couple of Papyrus and Pickerel. Give them a month and the new growth will be showing for a glorious display of water flowers for the entire summer for the visitors to the Zilker Botanical Gardens here in Austin.

Many thanks to all of the people who helped out on this Annual project. it would have been very difficult for Darren on his own. On the plus side, we all got a free lesson on how to re-pot lilies and lotus, knowledge that we can put to good use in our own ponds.

Attached are links to the three different videos about the re-potting process. Easily worth the membership fee to join the Pond Society.

Re-potting Water Lilies
Re-potting Lotus
Re-potting water plants.

All of the above were supervised by Darren Bayhi with the volunteers from the Austin Pond Society.

Cleaning Zilker Pond 2015 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.