The sun has come out at last
and the rain is now in the past
as we wait for things to dry
enough to be outside a while.
Everything is wonderfully green
with leaves perked up with a last fling
before they turn to a shade of brown
to lie dormant as winter closes things down.
I really like this time of year
as Nature begins to take a rest
from making things grow green and tall
for only she knows what’s best.
At least here in Texas, all is not lost
we can still work outside throughout the year
tending our gardens and our ponds
getting ready for Spring which will soon be here.
On Saturday, May 9th members of the Austin Pond Society are invited on a treasure hunt in which we will visit two separate ponds, visit one of our wonderful sponsors with a plant and garden center and end up at another members house for hot dogs.
Below is the plan.
We will meet at 12:45 in the Planet Fitness/ Good Will parking lot at the intersection of 290 West and Highway 71 otherwise know as the “Y at Oak Hill”.
Look for Jeannie who will be somewhere in the parking lot for your first clue. As this is not a race, plan on leaving from the parking lot around 1 pm.
You might want to bring a camera and a GPS system in your car or on your smart phone will be a big help for the trip.Family members are welcome but please, no pets.
Please bring something to write with, as you will be looking for landmarks on our adventure.
Our trip will be about 35 miles. Feel free to car pool from the “Y”..
First leg will be about 11 miles.
Second about 3 miles.
Third will be about 11 miles.
Fourth will be about 15 miles at which hot dogs will be served as a reward for completing the trip. Feel free to bring an ice chest and dish for the end of our adventure.
My cell number is (512)775-0707 if you get lost. You can call or text me.
Please send me an email so I know how many flyers to print out. See you Saturday May 9 in the “Y” parking lot. Thanks so much.
Plants in the Plant Swap 2015 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.
Well it has finally happened. The Austin Pond Societies Annual Plant Swap has come and gone and thanks to Barb Lenhardt and her many volunteers, went off very smoothly.As is always the custom, the set up was on the lawn next to the Zilker Meeting Room and participants were asked to drop off their goodies directly to this spot. The many volunteers arrived to set up at 5:30 PM and immediately got to work putting out and filling the portable ponds and putting down the protective tarps so that the lawn would not get damaged. For thirty minutes or so, there was a steady stream of members bringing in their wares while others were wandering around making mental notes of what they would like to pick out for themselves when their time arrived.
At 6:30, our resident chef, Laura ably assisted by her husband, Stefan, served hot dogs on a bun with all of the fixin’s. I don’t normally eat hot dogs but was hungry enough to have one of them and I have to say, it was very enjoyable. It tasted good enough that I had to fight the urge to go back for a second. I missed out on desert but probably that’s a good thing.
There was not much in the way of business when Jeannie Ferrier brought us to order at 7:00 PM. We did have one really good announcement that John, our ex-Parliamentarian had been busy recruiting and had talked a lady by the name of Cynthia Bennett into filling the open position. Welcome Cynthia, we are glad you are with us to keep us in line during our unruly Board Meetings. Turns out that we had new family membership and a returning husband and wife team who had been away for a while, also rejoined. Barb went over the rules of the Plant Swap more to remind everyone what was allowed and what was not. It was almost like the start of a Marathon or similar type race with many members standing waiting and straining at the bit for the word “Go”, and without further ado, they were off with the volunteers having first dibs.
Plant Swap April 2015 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.
There was so much stuff, pond plants, garden plants, cactus and even some tadpoles that there was no real need other than getting the article of choice, for any particular order as in the end, a lot of stuff went home with the original owners. Our policy is that if no one new claims what you bring in, you, as the donator have to be responsible to take it back home with you. That happened to me as not all of the Iris, Angelica and Thalia were taken. Luckily for me, I have a friend who was looking for some plants so I made a quick stop on the way home to drop them off.
Following the Swap, the same volunteers made short work of cleaning up the lawn, folding the tarps and rolling up the ponds, leaving it as though nothing had been on it that evening. All in all, the Swap went very well and I truly believe that everyone got what they wanted and probably a lot more.I wandered around and took a lot of pictures and videos of both the business part of the meeting and the swap itself. I had already viewed all of the offerings and quite honestly, could not see anything that I desperately wanted. My yard and ponds are already pretty full and there are many plants that I can’t put in the ponds because the big Koi have a fun time in destroying them almost as fast as I put them in the water.
Judging by the very happy members as they carried their new-found goodies to their cars, the Plant Swap was an enormous success and thanks have to go to Barb Lenhardt and her merry band of volunteers for making it happen. Thanks to you all. Now let’s get ready for the Pond Tour.
Plant Swap Business April 2015 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.
The Austin Pond Society held its monthly meeting this past March 15th, at Zilker Botanical Gardens Meeting Room. It was attended by about 45 members all of whom got to enjoy another tasty meal of vegetable coconut curry over jasmine rice offered by our very own chef and hospitality person, Laura Creaser. There was also a salad. It is very understandable and easy to see why she and her husband are the most popular people at every meeting and probably within the whole organization. For desert, some of the members brought in cookies. I’m waiting for that apple pie that someone brought in before, to reappear as it was delicious.
With the meal out-of-the-way, Barb Lenhardt introduced this months speaker, Jason Avent from Brite Ideas Aquaponics. His topic was on the subject of water and water treatment especially to do with our ponds. He covered a lot of different areas and answered many questions and was very knowledgeable on his subject. Below is a video of his entire presentation.
Jason Avent-Brite Ideas March 2015 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.
Following the presentation, Jeannie Ferrier took over the mike and conducted the business side of the meeting. She had a couple of new members to introduce with her usual verve and enthusiasm making them feel right at home instead of first timers. There was no major business to discuss so the meeting moved right along. BJ Jenkins reported on the upcoming tour and received a round of applause for her efforts in building the APS entry in the Zilker Botanical Gardens Faerie display. This article was featured in an earlier blog and can be reached at this link.
The meeting ended with the usual drawing for the door prizes.
The next meeting is one of our bigger ones. This one is entitled Plant Swap and although the name is mostly true, items to swap are not limited to pond plants. Almost anything pond and garden related can be brought in and swapped out for different items. This includes both pond and garden plants, fish, garden style ornaments, even useable pond or garden equipment. The usual method applied is that for every item you bring in, you get a ticket. One item, one ticket. When it comes time to actually pick your item, there is a special order of events with the volunteers having first choice followed by the rest in no particular order. Sort of a free for all only in a disciplined way. Most people have had time to view and have an idea of what they are after. When everyone has used up the initial allotted time, the remaining items are up for grabs until they are all gone. There is a very strict rule in place concerning cleanup and quite simply put, if the items you brought in are not claimed, then you have to take them back home with you. It is a lot of fun and sometimes, there are real prizes in the mix. Hope to see you there.
Below is the video of the business part of the meeting.
APS March 2015 Business from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.