EIPS Newsletter

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August 2005 Newsletter
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In This Issue: August 2005

Thursday, August 11, 2005
7:00 pm
Clarence & Eileen Serbousek
100 Brougham Rd
Robins, Iowa

To get our 2006 garden plans off to a early start, Sandy Hunter will talk about the winter sowing of seeds.

Directions: From I-380 north of Cedar Rapids use exit 28 onto E34 also known as County Home Road. Take it east to North Center Point Road (not very far). Go south on N. Center Point Road to W. Main Street, Robins. Take remain on Main street through town to Brougham Road which will be on the north side of the street. From Council Street in Cedar Rapids, take Main Street, Robins east to Brougham Road . From C Avenue in Cedar Rapids, take East Main Street, Robins west to Brougham Road .


Saturday, August 27, 2005
7:00 pm
Brett & Patti Shulista
3818 Sutton Rd
Central City, Iowa
(319) 842-2610

Greg Bickel will be talking on bottom drains and settling chambers. This will be an especially good program for those still collecting filtration ideas for a future pond. But retro fit is always an option.

Directions: Just like last meeting, from I-380 North of Cedar Rapids, take exit 28. Turn east onto COUNTY HOME RD. 4.20 miles turn North onto N ALBURNETT RD. N ALBURNETT RD becomes S MAIN AVE. Turn RIGHT onto NORTH ST. NORTH ST becomes BURNETT STATION RD. Travel east on Burnett Station Road to Sutton Road. Take Sutton south about 1 mile to 3818.


Thursday, July 7th- Mini Pond Tour

Well it’s that time of the year when we do our annual mini pond tour. For this meeting the club does our mad dash around town to see all the ponds that will go on display the following Sunday. The purpose of this “mini tour” is so that owners and volunteers alike will have a chance to see the other ponds on the tour.

We met at the home of Rosie and Herman Michel, this year’s co-chairmen. They provided us with cold drinks and yummy cookies. First, I introduced this year’s pond owners to their respective volunteers and asked them to work out the details of their locations for Sunday amongst themselves. I again explained how the tickets and moneys worked, as we had lots of newbies helping this year. With a great round of applause for all the volunteers, we were off to see all the ponds. Like a large swarm of bees we caravanned from neighborhood to neighborhood around town till we saw each and every pond on the tour. It was near dark when we finally got to the last pond on our tour. 10 ponds total in about 2 ½ hours. Whoosh….

Saturday, July 23 - Pot Luck

The item that may be remembered most about this meeting is that the heat index was over 100 degrees and us crazy pond people were out having a good time! About 25 of us gathered at the ponds of Richard and Faith Miene of Toddville for a delicious pot luck dinner. Marvelous assortment of salads, ribs, and deserts. Absolutely fabulous. And plenty of Ice Tea, Lemonade and Ice Water.

Richard Miene gave us a tour of the garden ponds which are well established, and included moss covered rocks along the stream of one pond. The secluded patio garden has some wonderful step-able ground covers surrounding the limestone paths making for a very cozy feel.

President Kacy Novak called the meeting to order which was limited to announcement due to the absence of the Treasurer, Secretary and Tour Committee chairpersons. Announcement included:

** EIPS T-shirts are being ordered. If you have not been at a meeting recently to order one, please contact Jackie Allsup ASAP.

** The Dietz family has donated some Water Lettuce and Water Hyacinth to EIPS. If you would like some plants, free, call Kacy Novak.

** Kacy again thanked the Michels for chairing the pond tour. We all think it went great. The members then circled their chairs in the shade and shared what is going good and where do they need help in their ponds. Highlights include:

** Green water is always a good topic and this time the following suggestions have been tried with success.

  1. Added fast growing plants and waited; anacharus, cattails, iris, sweet flags.
  2. Added SAB to control string algae - note: it is pricey.
  3. Just pulled the string algae until the other plants caught up and there was no longer the conditions that encouraged it’s growth.
  4. UV light for green water: cleared it in two weeks. Then turned it off and it is still OK after a month +.
  5. Let Tim & Linda Nolan pond sit for you while on vacation and the green water magically disappears. (Confession: Tim added Myriad of Pot Ash it boost the green color of the plants. The disappearance of the green water is just a side affect.) {Editor’s note: Roger Thompson swears by adding just a small amount of Myriad of Pot Ash to his pond to get rid of green water. Boosts the growth of the larger plants starving out the algae. Doesn’t affect the fish. Helps all other plants.}
  6. The consciences was that you needed to break the algae cycle (food source & light, algae grows, algae feeds small invertebrates, they are eaten by fish, fish give off nutrients that feed the algae). All of these techniques do that.
  7. Patience is a big issue.

** Richard Miene has added Cattails and Arrowheads to this earthen pond and they have evolved into excellent filters. Pond has really cleared.

** Several members shared tales of turtles just appearing in their ponds. One was found marching down the road, towards the pond. Yes, if you have water, wildlife will find it.

** A discussion about lilies in pots or out of pots: Members are finding that their water lilies can jump the pots and just grow along the bottom of the pond. Doesn’t seem to be a problem since they keep growing and blooming and that is the point in having them. Just harder to divide and share with friend.

** Members purchasing fish from local stores are suggesting we take note of the water temperature in the stores. One member found great fish in 80º water when his pond was only 68º. Even with a slow acclimation, the fish did not make it. Just be aware of temps.

** Anacharis is a great, hardy plants for Iowa ponds. Tim and Linda Nolan, Cedar Rapids, have lots of it. Anacharis gives of a lot of oxygen into the water.

** There are postings on the internet that people are having problems with a product called Algae-fix when they use too much and the water temperatures are high resulting in fish deaths. As always, read and FOLOW the directions. And the theory “some is good, more is better” is not safe.

** Richard Miene told of finding a large stone protruding from the earth a ways from their large earth pond and since it was in the farmers field, they needed to remove it. So they started digging around it with his excavating machinery. The rock ended up being over 15 feet tall. There was a fleeting thought of burying it again but as he said, the “man thing” kicked in and they HAD to move it. So he got Gee Excavation to join in on his adventure and with three bulldozers, working together, they were able to push it almost to the pond. It momentarily looked like defeat. But not to be defeated, they then dug on the other side, making the pond bigger and brought the pond to the rock. Does that sound like a ponder or what?

** And finally Sharon lamented that she is finding a lot of new pond owners coming into her business who have had very large ponds built FOR THEM, and they know NOTHING about what it takes to keep a pond. Nor anything about the plants and fish to be kept in it. It saddened her. There is so much to know and that adds so much to the enjoyment of the pond. Lack of knowledge just leads to frustration. It is hard to enjoy the pond if you don’t understand it.

That door prizes went to Faith Miene, Sharon Weis, Eileen Serbousek, Jo Hunerdosse, and Brady Lanham. Meeting was adjourned.

First off, please note that both of the August meetings are off County Home Road (CHR) in Linn County north of Cedar Rapids. One is south of CHR in Robins. The other is north of CHR between Alburnett and Central City. So if the two maps look like one, that is because it is. Take the same exit off I-380 for both meeting.

If I keep making mistakes like I did last month I will be able to remain humble into my next life. For all of you who were totally confused as to who took some of the photos in last month’s newsletter, it was Curt Moore not Richard. Who is Richard Moore anyway? Yes, that is why they look just like the ones Curt took. Thanks Curt! Hope you were not too confused.

And now that we have all discovered Map Quest and my eyesight combined with the map in the phone book can not be trusted, in the future if we need directions to your pond and they are the slightest bit complicated, send me directions. Thanks!!

Having fought the raccoon issue myself, I really enjoyed Josh’s photo of what he captured. And it was marshmallows. Who would have guessed.

It is August and you are getting real good at sending items for the newsletter. Thank you very much and keep them coming. It would be fun to have a stock pile of articles and photos waiting for space in the newsletter.

EIPS EDITOR — Carol Sindelar

I’ve heard many horror stories from customers and online friends about how some critter had trashed their pond. Herons, raccoons, and even deer have been known to cause problems in water gardens. In all the years we’ve had ponds, we’ve been very luck to have had almost no problems with any wildlife. Well...that is until last fall when our luck began to run short.

Last fall we began to wake up every morning to a few up turned water lilies in our growing tanks. We knew there were raccoons living down by the barn, so it didn’t take long to realize they had finally discovered the “water park” in the garden. Among everything else that has to be done in the fall to prepare for winter, nothing was done about this problem. Maybe by spring they would forget about the ponds or better yet, move on to a new home. Wishful thinking, that was.

As spring arrived, we knew the raccoons were still around, but they appeared to be behaving themselves. Of course, that didn’t last. At first, it was just one or two pots along the edge of the pond. Then they discovered how much fun it was to play in the marginals tank. When they found the tropical water lily tank and dumped most of the lilies in one night, that was the final straw!

That night we set the live trap behind the tropical lily tank and baited it with an egg. The next morning...nothing. The second night we moved the trap near the marginals tank and baited it with a raccoon’s favorite midnight snack, marshmallows. The next morning...well, just see for yourself…

Raccoons in trap
(editor’s note: I am counting three little guys in this trap.)

Mother raccoon is still around, so the battle is not over, but this is good start!

Josh Spece
In The Country Garden & Gifts
Specializing in Hostas and Water Gardens

The Eastern Iowa Garden and Landscape Show at Brucemore
Saturday August 27, 2005 9:00-4:00.

We can use shifts of two, four or five hours.

We have free passes for only a limited number, so get your request to serve in early.

E-mail Kacy at cqknovak@msn.com or call 362-0487.

I want to tell you all about our upcoming day at Brucemore in Cedar Rapids. August 27 is the Eastern Iowa Garden and Landscape show at The Brucemore Mansion, 2160 Linden Drive (or the back driveway is in the 1900 block of 1st Avenue NE), Cedar Rapids and EIPS is again having a booth. Last year we set up a “pond” in a punch bowl on our table with live plants and Koi. Our Volunteers spent the day handing out EIPS brochures, answering questions and just talking ponds with the public. Although the volunteers were scheduled for 2 hour segments, many of them just spent the whole day there. They had a great time as it is a great event.

If you are interested in manning the booth or have some ideas as to what will make our booth interesting, contact me As-Soon-As-Possible. Calling is better than waiting to volunteer at the August 11th meeting.

Kacy Novak

Thanks to everyone for helping us through, what was a "difficult task" for us, and making the Pond Tour a great success! We had a good turn out, with approximate 500 people coming to view the ponds and gardens.

The conversations were stimulating and the weather near perfect. (Considering the next two Sundays were hotter yet!) We had very few problems and when we did, people were there immediately with a solution. We know we've said it before, but we want to say it at least one more time, THANK YOU to:


Robert & Roberta Ward
Larry & Rita Tharp
Freddie & Nancy Koontz
Louis & Jacque Winchip
Susan Hightshoe
Perry & Susan Benore
Brady & Lisa Lanham
Gary & Jo Hunerdosse
Roger & Marge Thompson


Dorothy Helms & Sharon Weiss
David & Judy Halfhill
Gil & Monica Morley & Elena
Quinn & Kacy Novak
Jackie & Harry Allsup
Rick & Marty Fangman
Wayne & Pat Beuter
Clarence & Eileen Serbousek
Tim & Linda Nolan

THE PLANT SALE: Dennis & Carol Sindelar and all who donated plants to be sold. The sale brought in over $500.

TOUR STORAGE: Every year between tours Pat & Wayne Beuter store the signs and two wading pools that are used for the tour. It sounds like a small thing but they take up quite a bit of space and then Beuters deliver them to the tour location!!!

POSTER DESIGN: Joe & Judy Olsen . Along with all the members who displayed them & handed them out. And members who promoted the tour through their businesses and their other volunteer activities.

POND TOUR COMMITTEE: Joe & Judy Olsen, Susan Hightshoe, Jackie Allsup and Rosie & Herman Michels.

And a GREAT BIG THANKS, to the "Lemonade Sellers" @ Brady & Lisa Lanham house, who gave $30 back to EIPS.

And last, but not least, our EIPS officers.

It was because all of you worked so hard, that this year's pond tour was a success!!!!!

Herman & Rosie Michel
Pond Tour Chairmen

And as always, the bottom line is the money made. Here is the breakdown:

Gross Income $3,005.50

Plant sale $535.50
Lemonade $30.00
Tickets $2,440 (488 tickets)

Expenses Pizza $165.00
Printing $241.31

Total Expenses $406.31

Net Income $2599.19

How does this compare to past tours:

2001 was $2,048.17
2002 was $1,165.78 Vinton
2003 was $2,032.38 Cedar Rapids
2004 was $ 805.28 (it rained) I-20 Waterloo to Independence
2005 was $2599.19 Cedar Rapids

Nancy Baldwin

Now we need to work on a project.

Eastern Iowa Pond Society Membership Application

Note—this is a tentative schedule. That means don't keep it. Don’t go by it. Just read it now and enjoy what might be happening the rest of the summer. Then remember to read your newsletter each month to know what is really happening.

(Thurs) August 11th -7:00 p.m. Robins
Hosts Clarence & Eileen Serbousek
100 Brougham Rd, Robins

(Sat) August 27th Alburnet
Host Greg Bickal at Shulista pond in Alburnet

(Thurs) September 8th -7:00 p.m.
Cedar Rapids?
Host Ruth Tharp

(Sat) September 24th Cedar Rapids
Hosts Robert & Roberta Ward
3313 Waveland Dr NW, Cedar Rapids
Building toad houses

(Sat) October 29th Cedar Rapids
Hosts Herman & Rosey Michaels
4297 Zeman Dr SE, Cedar Rapids
Costumed Halloween Party

(Sat) November Vinton
Vinton Pizza Ranch 219 W 4th, Vinton
Awards Ceremony, Roger Thurm will be showing movies of the pond tour

Now remember, this is only tentative. Read your monthly newsletter for details and updates.

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