2014 Photo Contest-September 15

Contest Director - Darren Bayhi

lotus.jpgAs usual, there will be 4 categories for photos:

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 Ideally photos will be landscape (wider than tall).

Portrait photos are harder to position on the page. Any format from 4x6 up to 8x10 will be accepted. Smaller sizes will decrease the impact on your wallet but may not ‘show’ as well as the traditional 8x10. You may only submit one photo per category and there will be 3 winners per category.

Those with family memberships may submit one for each person. Please only enter photos which were actually taken by the person entering them (i.e. – don’t enter 2 pictures taken by one person under 2 different names.)

You must be present to enter or win. All winners will receive a free calendar. 1st place winners will also receive the incredible sum of $10, second $5, and the overall winner will receive $20. The overall winning picture will also be used for the calendar cover. Only two winners per family/membership will be allowed.

Copies of the new calendar may be ordered at the September and October meeting, via email or snail mail and will be available at the November 17 meeting. They must be prepaid. Only a certain number of calendars will be ordered. If you are not sure you are coming to our November meeting, please make arrangements to have them picked up.

Winners will need to send their photos electronically in the full 8x10 format (or larger). When sending me a photo (either as a winner or personal selection) please use the email below and remember to include a descriptive caption and Photograph by ....... (for instance Colorado Hardy Lily - Photography by John Smith) .tif and hi rez .jpg are the best formats to use. If your files are huge (let’s say over 6 meg) if possible, please reduce the dimensions of the original picture so it is not so large.

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Austin Pond Society 2014 Tour

2014tourlogo50.pngANNUAL POND TOUR - Links to Ripples - Images and Videos by Francis

Use the links below to view videos of all of the ponds.Be patient as it is a big file and takes about 25 seconds or so to load.

The Austin Pond Society held its 2014 Annual Pond Tour on the weekend of June 7, 8 with nine ponds on the south side showing on Saturday and eleven on the North side showing on Sunday. There were also two ponds that showed Saturday night, one of which was also on the day tour.

The ponds ranged in size from very big which were the Sun City Commemorative pond in Georgetown and the other was the Dell Children's Medical Center. Both of these ponds were probably a little less than an acre in size.

The reverse of that was a small pond in Cedar Park which was about 300 gallons, very small indeed. The contrast in size and obviously styles, is a great example that a pond does not have to be very big to be a thing of beauty. The small pond was set off by a wonderfully well-kept yard.

Other than the obvious size differences, all of the ponds and gardens had their own characteristics. Some were above ground, others had large waterfalls and streams. Yet others were uniquely decorated with statues and other items of interest. One was surrounded by model houses complete with miniature furniture and little people waving  to welcome you in. Another pond also served as a rainwater collection system and was very uniquely engineered. One even had a live parrot perched in the tree above the pond who seemed to enjoy all of the attention he got.

I visited every pond as Editor of the Ripples, our on-line newsletter for the Pond Society.  I filmed and then edited twenty-three videos and took enough images for the same number of slide shows and put them into this publication with a write up of each of them. The write ups are from the Pond Tour Program by Karl Tinsley. Thanks Karl for letting me use your work.

To watch the entire program of all twenty ponds and the night pond in a page by page format with links to each of the videos and slide shows separate for each pond, use the following link,

Ripples Publication June 2014
or copy this link into your browser https://pondblog2011.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/publication-july-2014-final.pdf

Preceding the Annual Tour by a week and included in the Ripples, was the Annual SPLASH! Party which Jeannie Ferrier and Steven Monfrini very graciously hosted for the second year in a row. The event is for the owners and volunteers to get to meet and know each other before the Tour and also for everyone to be clued in to the way things needed to be done. Karl Tinsley, as the Head Honcho of the tour, spent some time with the explanations and answered the questions from the members. The party was a huge success and was well attended. It was also Jeannie Ferrier, APS President's birthday celebrated by all with a slice of cake. Happy Birthday, Jeannie. Incidentally, the food for the party was supplied by one of our sponsors La Familia. Thank you for such a scrumptious meal, thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Also included in this version of the Ripples, is a write-up the first ever Sponsor Night dedicated to all of the wonderful sponsors of the Pond Society and the Pond Tour.  Those sponsors that were able to attend each had five minutes to talk to the assembled audience and had a booth where they were able to sell their wares and give out information.

The evening was a huge success setting it as an annual event. The tour itself was also very successful as the weather cooperated enough even though we had a couple of brief showers. At least it was much cooler than in previous years. From my observations, the owners all enjoyed being on the tour and most were relaxed enough around the camera (especially the parrot who hammed it up every time a camera was pointed at him).

Enjoy the videos and slide shows. Just click on the link below.

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2014 Tour a Big Success!
2014tourlogo50.pngThe 2014 Pond Tour was a great success! Everyone - visitors and owners alike - seemed to be having a wonderful time at each of the ponds. Be sure to come to our next Austin Pond Society meeting, June 16, 2014, at the Zilker Garden Center, to see pictures taken by the club photographer and to discuss your experiences on the tour. We'll be doing a pot luck, so bring a dish if you are able! Keep an eye out here for a more extensive write-up about the tour.  Thanks again to the pond owners, pond tour visitors, and tour organizers for another job well done!
 
20 Years of Giving

The Austin Pond Society: 20 Years of GivingImage

 By BJ Jenkins

It would seem that the pond and garden tour sponsored by the Austin Pond Society would be all about water features, lilies and fish. On the surface, it is. But if you were to ask board members why it’s important that the tour be successful, they would reply that it enables a donation to the organization selected as that year’s beneficiary.

For 20 years a portion of the proceeds from the Austin Pond Tour has been given to a group selected by the board and the membership. Monetary contributions have gone to a wide variety of recipients. The APS has supported KLRU in the form of a donation to The Central Texas Gardener, which graciously spotlights the tour each year. The APS is also grateful for its association with the Zilker Botanical Garden and has helped with funding repairs of the Lotus Pond and the Rose Garden Pond.       

The APS has also made contributions to community organizations that don’t have a direct connection to ponds and gardens. For instance, The Wright House offers care and compassion to those with chronic illnesses; SafePlace provides support and sanctuary for women who have experienced domestic violence; Down Home Ranch, in Elgin, is a non-profit working farm and ranch for people with special needs and those who share their lives. TherapyWorks rehabilitates horses that have been abused and pairs them with abused children to begin the healing process for both; Marbridge is a private alternative to group homes for mentally challenged adults.

After the fire that devastated Bastrop County, a contribution was made to Bastrop State Park. That same year a donation from the APS was given to the Austin Independent School District’s Media Center for the purchase of materials related to ponding. Two years ago, Gus Garcia Middle School, Perez Elementary, Ridgetop Elementary and Williams Elementary were awarded grants to expand science programs that make use of ponds and native plants. Many other schools have been given koi, water plants and been visited whenever pond advice is needed.

But the APS is hands-on as well, having donated time and effort in actually rebuilding and cleaning ponds at various facilities throughout the Austin area. Besides volunteering during the resealing of the ponds at Zilker Park, members help maintain the pond outside the Zilker Garden Center each month during spring and summer. Members made several trips to Elgin last year to completely rebuild the two ponds at Down Home Ranch, and each spring members participate in an annual pond cleanup there. The APS also gave the ranch a new pond vacuum and plenty of koi.

Recently, 15 members of the Pond Society participated in a fish rescue at one member’s pond and took about 50 goldfish to the ponds at Dell Children’s Medical Center. This began a dialogue that resulted in the selection of the Healing Garden within the Medical Center as the beneficiary for the 2014 tour. This garden and pond, which is reserved as a sanctuary for young patients and their families and not generally open to the public, can be visited during the Sunday morning hours as part of this year’s tour.

The members of the Austin Pond Society are all looking forward to the tour on June 7 and 8. This year, they will be celebrating 20 years of serene ponds, lovely water lilies, and jewel-like koi; but most important, they will be celebrating 20 years of giving.

 
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Membership News

Meeting Location
We meet in the Austin Area Garden Center, located inside the Zilker Botanical Gardens at Zilker Park. The Zilker Botanical Gardens are at 2220 Barton Springs Rd. in Austin, Texas. Parking at the Austin Area Garden Center is free for the meeting.
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Buy, Sell & Trade Pond Stuff

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