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.

TO PRINT ALMOST ANYTHING FROM THE SCREEN, HOLD DOWN THE CONTROL KEY AND THE P KEY AT THE SAME TIME. ON A MAC, IT IS COMMAND P.

UPCOMING AND ITEMS OF INTEREST

THE NEXT MEETING - JUNE 17, 2019

NOTE: The next meeting of APS is on Monday, June 17 at the usual meeting place, Zilker Botanical Gardens. There will not be a Speaker as the meeting will be devoted to the Pond Owners who put their Ponds on the Tour this year to give them an opportunity to discuss their experiences.

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.

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 re-home 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

COME AND JOIN US.

Membership in the Austin Pond Society is a wonderful way to meet other pond lovers and learn about the many joys of having a backyard pond. In addition to our regular monthly meetings where you’ll hear professionals speak on pond building, plants, fish and other wildlife. you’ll get to participate in hands-on demonstrations and give back to the community by helping us out at the Zilker Garden Center and area elementary schools where we teach and assist in building and maintaining their ponds.

  • As a member, you also receive these member-only benefits.
    POND-O-VAC – Use this link for details
    125 GALLON TRANSPORT TANK – $25 per week donation plus deposit
    GENERAL MEETING EACH MONTH – wonderful speakers, great food and friendship with like-minded folks
    THE MARKETPLACE – sign up and receive notification whenever pond equipment, Koi, goldfish and plants are being given away.
    POND STARS – experienced ponders can help with advice on your pond problems
    APRIL PLANT SWAP – bring a variety of plants and go home with your car full.
    MAY SPONSOR NIGHT – come and meet our APS sponsors and check out the newest products and enjoy great discounts.
    MEMBERS-ONLY EVENTS – outings to members’ ponds, garden centers, water-lily growers, fish hatcheries
    WEBSITE – contains information on all aspects of APS activities
    THE STREAM – MONTHLY CALENDAR – keeps you current with the month’s activities
    COMMUNITY SERVICE – volunteer at Zilker Botanical Garden, the Zilker Garden Festival, and the Austin Pond Tour. Participate at the annual pond cleaning at Zilker Gardens or other sites that need our assistance

  • To join – Go to the Wild Apricot link below and join on line or come to our next meeting where we take both cash and credit cards. We meet the third Monday of every month (except December) in the Zilker Garden Center on Barton Springs Rd at 6:30 pm. Our family membership is only $30.00 annually.

You must be a member to take advantage of the different services that the Austin Pond Society offers. Membership is only $30.00 for Individual and Family Memberships. Use the Form below to join

THE STREAM

Upcoming information about the Society

Pond Sitters – 2018

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