Welcome to the Austin Pond Society.

by | Dec 29, 2017

The Pictures Above

The pictures that are shown above are the winners of the 2018 Photo Contest and will change on a monthly basis. You too can have your masterpiece posted here by entering the 2019 Photo Contest in September.

Do You Like to Cook?

The only position not yet filled for this upcoming year is, some would say, arguably if not the most important, definitely the most popular person as the Hospitality Volunteer. If you enjoy to cook, not only do get to practice your art once a month but you do it with someone else’s money. If you would like to know more about this position, use the button below to contact Steven,the outgoing hospitality guru who has performed this role for the last couple of years. Thanks

LINKS


Click here The Stream
Click here 25th Annual Pond Tour Information
Click here Join the Pond Society
Click here Sponsors Corner
Click here Pond Tour Tickets

UPCOMING PROGRAMS and OTHER INFORMATION

THE NEXT MEETING - MAY 20, 2019

NOTE: The next meeting of APS is on Monday, May 20 at the usual meeting place, Zilker Botanical Gardens. The Speaker will be Katie Boyer, US Fish and Wildlife and she will be talking about Monarch Butterflies.

Katie Boyer serves as the Monarch Conservation Coordinator for the Southwest Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The eastern migratory monarch butterfly population has declined by more than 90% since the mid-1990’s, spurring an international movement to protect and conserve this species and other pollinators. This presentation will cover monarch biology and highlight opportunities to engage in the monarch and pollinator conservation movement.

Come and learn more about this endangered species.

The meeting starts at 6:30 pm with a light meal. Members are encouraged to bring covered dishes and/or deserts. Hope to see you there.

UPCOMING PROGRAMS

The following are a peek of the upcoming Speakers and Programs for the next few months. More details as we get closer.

May-
“Monarch Butterflies” – Katie Boyer from
US Fish and Wildlife

June-
“2019 Pond Tour Review” – Pond Owners

July-
Member Forum – “Building Your Own Pond”

Come and Meet a Friend...

I had a very interesting visitor to my ponds yesterday. This one was about 4 feet tall with a 5 feet wingspan and was a beautiful blue-grey color. He was not a welcome visitor but that didn’t seem to phase him one little bit.

I have put together a video of his/her time that was spent in my ponds yesterday morning. The video is not of the greatest quality as it is made up of 7 separate videos that I got from the surveillance cameras of which I have 4 scattered around the yard and pointing at the ponds. These cameras only record in 2 minute increments and are motion driven which quite literally means anything that moves be it wind, water, waterfalls, decorative fountains and the like and includes me, when I am out there and of course, the dogs. The very first set of pictures is from a camera that is going bad and needs changing out hence the black and white effect. The rest show the heron in all of its glorious color.

The black and white picture is of a pond that used to be joined together to the pond in the color pictures that follow before I rebuilt it making it 4 feet deep. Way too deep for the heron to jump in which is probably why he moved quickly to the adjoining pond where the water is only 2 feet or less deep making it easy for him to wade around at his leisure as you can see from the video.

It is not clear just how many fish it managed to eat but judging from the absence of goldfish in the pond, I would say that he got quite a few. They could be hiding out and may appear in one’s and two’s later on but I am not holding my breath. There are still 7-8 12 plus inch Koi which is about what were there before so I imagine that he left them because they present a more difficult eating/swallowing problem than do the much smaller goldfish. We will just have to wait and see if when he returns. I keep calling it a “He” but truthfully, I have no idea if it is male or female and I have not read of any differing characteristics.

Stay tuned as I’m quite sure he will be back. Where were the dogs, you might ask. Probably curled up with me in bed and even if they heard anything were way too comfortable to be bothered with it.

To watch the video CLICK ON THIS LINK

A BATTLE OF WITS

The Heron is a very wily adversary and relies a lot on keeping the pond owner guessing as to when he is likely to show up. I spent a week at home only leaving when I absolutely had no other choice, like running out of food or keeping a pre arranged Doctors visit. Normal stuff except when there is a hungry Heron wanting to catch and eat your Koi and Goldfish. He kept no regular patterns and it meant getting up at the crack of dawn because as soon as it was light enough for him to see, he would swoop down from the tree that he had perched in and land on the Goldfish pond wall. If the fishing wasn’t very good there, he quickly moved over to the L shaped pond which is the shallowest pond out of the four big ones. The Heron knew he could safely wade in this pond and as the video shows, spent time pursuing and if he was lucky, catching and eating fish. Other times he would fly in mid morning, other times mid or late afternoon and even late in the evening. There was no telling when he would show.

On a previous run in with a Heron several years ago, I put wire fences around each of the ponds and then attached a doggy shocker which worked pretty well as eventually, that particular Heron stopped coming. I was Heron free for maybe 3 years before the current one has shown up. I went to work on the shallow pond and installed a system of cross-wires that diagonally dissected the pond and were about a foot above the water essentially dividing the pond up into small sections. I tried to install the doggy shocker but the wires grounded out in several places so the system would not work. I left the wires as strung and turned my attention to a more physical presence in the form of a Jet Spray Scarecrow. I had purchased one several years ago but due to non use and probably neglect on my part, this one leaked and I could not find a way to prevent it. I had no choice but to go on line and see if I could find another on E-Bay or Amazon and managed to locate several that were available. They were by a different manufacturer, Hoont, but as they were a lot cheaper, I quickly tagged one for $29.99 and went through the checkout process. I deemed that this was an emergency and paid additional postage to get it to me in three days in which it duly arrived. This one is brand new in an unopened box and I quickly set about installing it on the shallow pond.

The very next day, the Heron showed up and my first inclination was to rush outside and scare it away but I decided to watch from my vantage point indoors to see what happens. After exploring the Goldfish pond without any luck that I could see, it flew up into a tree above the shallow pond and then sat there for what seemed an eternity. It kept looking down at the shallow pond as if it so see a way for it to safely fish but it stayed in the tree. Then all of a sudden it hopped around and flew off as fast as it could. I went out and checked and the Scarecrow had been activated and as it is pretty noisy, was enough to frighten it away.

I immediately went back on line and purchased another for $25.00 from the same company only this one was a slightly used one. When it arrived, it was missing a couple of screws which I was able to replace and I installed it on the Goldfish pond. I was able to adjust them both so that they limited the spray to the distance of the pond meaning that I am able to walk around the ponds without getting soaked. As far as I can tell, the Heron has not been back as the fish are beginning to lead a normal life and are starting to show themselves again.

I am not suggesting for one minute that I can declare victory over this wily opponent as I am sure that it will not give up that easily. If, by chance, he decides to turn his attention to either of the big ponds with the the very large Koi in them, then I will purchase a couple more of the Scarecrows and get them set up. Here’s hoping that it wont be necessary.

POND SITTERS

You might be interested in a new idea that we are kicking around where as individuals, we can help out our fellow Ponders in times of need. Because maintaining a pond is fairly specialized, it is not easy to find someone to look after the pond if you as the pond owner, want to take a trip and be away for a few days. It would be doubly nice if you knew that person is also handy enough to make any small repairs that might be needed and it would certainly give you peace of mind during your absence. Read more here on Pondsitting.

ITEMS FOR SALE

Are you thinking of rebuilding your pond or maybe starting a new one? There are several used pond items for sale that could give you a good start and at a lot cheaper price than buying new. Skimmers, filter boxes, waterfall boxes and such do not wear out and a used item is every bit as good as a new piece for less than half of the price. Use this link to review the items available.

FISH RESCUE/REHOME

We sometimes get requests from pond enthusiasts who for various reasons, are no longer able to take care of their ponds and water features and are looking to shut down the ponds and rehome the fish. We have a very organized crew of volunteers with all of the equipment needed to perform this task. We also find new homes for the fish among our members as we have learned by experience that there is no sale for these fish regardless of the pedigree. If you have the need for this service, use the link to learn more about it

The Austin Pond Society 25th Pond Tour


Use this link to purchase your wristbands (tickets)


It’s April and the owners are knee deep, cleaning their ponds in preparation for the 25th Austin Pond and Garden Tour, June 1 & 2. The charities for this tour are Central Texas Gardner on KLRU-TV, Austin Pets Alive, and Donor Choice, a charity which funds projects for teachers and students.
We have a great list of ponds, starting with Mayfield Park both days. The eight ponds on Saturday do range pretty wide, plan for a long day ending at David’s and Barbara’s eclectic night pond. Sunday we have six ponds in the north. All the owners are looking forward to your visit.
Use the link at the top of the page to buy your wristbands on our website.
Get them early for a discount. Turn in your electronic receipt at any pond to receive your wristbands. Mayfield Park and one other pond each day will sell wristbands but only for credit.
The 25th tour celebration T-shirt has the above logo created by Mary Word. T-shirts will only be available at Mayfield Park. You can pre-order the tour T-shirts on line starting May 1 and pick them up at Mayfield Park. There may be some on sale at the park but supplies of the T-shirts tend to run out.
We still need volunteers to pond sit during the tour. For a four hour shift you will receive a wristband and tour T-shirt. You must be a member of the Austin Pond Society or someone designated by the owner in order to volunteer.
Use this link to volunteer.
We are all looking forward to seeing you, it will be a wonderful celebration of the many years of the Austin Pond and Garden Tour.

VISIT THE PONDS ON LINE

TO REVIEW PICTURES OF THE PONDS ON THIS TOUR, USE THIS LINK. THE PICTURES WILL BE UPDATED FREQUENTLY WITH A PREVIEW OF ALL OF THE PONDS.

Be a Volunteer

2019 APS Pond Tour Volunteers
To sign up for volunteering, follow these steps:
1. Log in to your Austin Pond Society Account at this link to log in. You can also reset your password at that link.
2. Sign up for your volunteering time slot at this link: to Register here to be a volunteer for the 2019 Pond Tour. You must be an APS member. All volunteers must attend the Austin Pond Society meeting on May 20 (dinner at 6:30, meeting at 7:00) at the Zilker Botanical Gardens clubhouse for further tour instruction and to receive their tour T-shirt and wristband.
Volunteers sit at their pond and monitor the visitors. They check for wristbands and hand out wristbands to those who show their receipt for the tour. They will also count the number of visitors that come to see the pond.
The volunteers will work a 4 hour shift, Saturday or Sunday, from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM or 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. The night pond goes from 8:00 PM to 10:30 PM.
There are a limited number of volunteer opportunities.

Buy Your Wristbands Here

Recent Posts

Archives

Austin Pond Society and Mayfield Park

Work on renovating two of the ponds at Mayfield Park has been completed and all of the ponds have been cleaned the plants repotted. Currently, all that remains is to perform ongoing maintenance work with the plants about every couple of weeks. All of the ponds have been restocked with Koi some of which are pretty big, thanks to our Fish Rescue Team.

If you would like more information, please Contact Jeannie Ferrier at jf1958@aol.com

AUSTIN POND SOCIETY LIBRARY – CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO VIEW A LIST OF AVAILABLE LITERATURE.

OUR LIBRARIAN is Holly Hargraves.

You can reach her at librarian@austinpondsociety.org

THE YELLOW BEAST POND VAC – CLICK ON THE IMAGE FOR MORE DETAILS

The Austin Pond Society has invested in a new pond vacuum that is available for Members to rent. There is also a 125 gallon holding tank that can be rented on a weekly basis. Click on the image for details

THERE ARE NEW ITEMS FOR SALE IN THE MARKETPLACE.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO SEE WHAT IS AVAILABLE IN THE MARKETPLACE..

Do you have any used pond or garden equipment laying around that you would like to sell, swap or give away?

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Upon completion of the form required to describe the objects, the articles will be posted on the website. They will sell quicker if you have pictures showing your articles. Please note: Any dealings that take place are between the seller and the buyer. Please read the full disclaimer posted on the Marketplace page. CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE FORM