EIPS Newsletter

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July 2005 Newsletter
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In This Issue: July 2005

Thursday, July 7, 2005
6:30 pm
Rosie & Herman Michel
4297 Zeman Dr. SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Pre-Pond-Tour Tour

This is our pre-tour tour of all of the ponds on the pond tour. Please note the early starting time. A short, stand up meeting will be held & then (make sure your car has a full tank of gas !!!!!) we will form a caravan & go to the 10 pond sites. We will be leaving soon after 6:30 so please be on time, or even a bit early.

Directions: Take Mount Vernon Road SE (Past the new Hy-Vee) to 43rd street. Zeman is at the end of 43rd.

Saturday, July 23, 2005
6:30 pm
Richard & Faith Miene
7912 Morris Hills Rd
Toddville, Iowa


This will be a leisurely yet informative meeting. We will gather for a pot luck at 6:30. Then we will have an extensive round table discussion about our ponds. If you have pond questions or pond success stories, bring them along. Richard and Faith will be providing lemonade, coffee, ice water, paper plates and tableware. Please bring your favorite summer potluck dish to share.

Directions: From I-380 in Cedar Rapids, exit west at Blairsferry Road. Follow Blairsferry out of town. After a left hand curve there will be a bridge and then Feather Ridge Road will be to the right. Take Feather Ridge to Morris Hill Road.

Or from the Toddville exit of I-380, travel through Toddville to Feather Ridge Road. Turn left onto Feather Ridge and continue to Morris Hill.

June 9, 2005

25 members were in attendance at this Thursday evening meeting. President Kacy Novak called the meeting to order at the pond of David & Ruth Whittenbaum (spelled wrong) in Klinger (north of Waterloo). David & Ruth shared stores about the history of the Century Farm (1886), the exotic animals (goats, donkeys, lamas, draft horses, wild mustangs, peacocks and an assortment of exotic chickens), the corn crib gazebo and the evolution of their pond. The two week-old baby goats were just precious. David shared that he learned a lot through the Northern Iowa Pond Society and several of their members assisted with his pond, a two-year learning process. But it is running well now and they confessed that they add things yearly like most ponders.

During the business part of the meeting the minutes of the May meetings were approved as printed. Kacy introduced new members, Barb & Jim Dos from just south of Klinger. They have a small pond and some stock tanks, and hope to some day dig The BIG One.

A reminder, the July 7th meeting will start at Rosie & Herman Michelís pond at 6:30 in Cedar Rapids. Everyone is encouraged to be early because we will caravan to all 10 of the tour ponds that evening before it gets dark about 8:45 pm. And everyone is encouraged to attend this meeting, especially if your pond is on the tour or if you are sitting at a ticket table for the tour. This will be your opportunity to see all of the ponds.

Carol distributed color Pond Tour Poster (with tear off address lists) and black & white flyers for members to post at garden centers, their places of work, everywhere. She also distributed to everyone a stack of address cards with the date of the tour for members to give to friends as a reminder of where and when.

The topic of foam on ponds came up and Rick Fangman did some impromptu research and discovered it is caused by excess protein in the pond. Some sources of protein could be excess food or over feeding. Temperature changes contribute to the foams production. It will go away on itís own as the biological conditions correct themselves (biological balance) or with the increase in biological filtration. Not to worry.

Rick and Marti Fangman also shared photos of their newly redone pond, patio, deck and back yard. WOW.

The door prize names were drawn in absentia of the prizes themselves. Yes they were left on someoneís dining room table. Winners were: Jim Dos, Gary Hunerdosse, Rick Fangman and Dorothy Helms. Prizes will be gotten to them over the next few meetings or via friends.

Our hosts for the evening, Shirley and Roger Thurm treated the club to a delicious picnic of brats, baked beans, potato salad, chips, Kraut, etc. Yummy.

Meeting adjourned.
Submitted - Carol Sindelar

June 25, 2005

As is not unusual at EIPS meetings, a storm was bearing down on Cedar Rapids at the time of the meeting and early on, after we wondered the yard and viewed the two ponds, we adjourned to Edna and Ron Rifeís living room.

Ron talked about their 8 year adventure in ponding. Although both ponds were originally built 8 years ago, the one closest to the house was redone just two years later. The far pond was just enlarged and a deck added this year. Members familiar with Ron and Ednaís ponds were very complimentary of their recent additions. Ron warned members about in ground pipes freezing if installed incorrectly, as his had done. The two issues are depth and slant, donít allow water to puddle in the pipes over winter. It will freeze and break the pipes.

President Kacy encouraged Ron to tell about saving his dried Koi from death when it jumped out of itís winter storage tank. Ron swished ďLuckyĒ through the water for about 1/2 hour and revived him although the fish was getting stiff. Lucky lived a couple more years and just died this winter. Ron and Edna are ďGardenersĒ and their yard really shows their love of flowers. At the current time the Hosta, Daylilies and Asiatic Lilies were stealing the show. With all of the paths and assorted flower beds, the 100 x 100 yard looks much larger than itís actual size.

Pond Tour Chairperson, Rosie Michel gave an update of tour plans:

** We have been receiving some great publicity, including Master Gardener and EIPS member Deb Walser plugging the tour on WMT during the Wednesday morning ďAsk the GardenerĒ call in show.

** KCRG will be at Rosieís during the morning show, 5 - 7 am on July 8th. Kacy Novak will also be on hand to promote the tour.

** Rosie will be sending a Burst E-mail soon. She will send and email containing the tour poster to all members whose e-mail address we have. All she asks is that they forward it to all of their fiends to promote the tour.

** Rosie and her daughter will be making some pins to distinguish the pond owners on the day of the tour. Helpers are asked to pick up their name tags to wear. Carol Sindelar reminded members who are donating plants to the plant sale to:

** Mark the plant with : The PLANTĒS NAME, where it needs to be planted (in the pond, on the edge, in the garden), the color and a price.

** Please price the items to sell. We want to encourage people to purchase plants and have them in their ponds, promote the hobby.

** If you would like any unsold plants returned to you, please make that know to Carol the day of the sale. Otherwise, left over plants will be given to any pond members who will give them a home at the end of the day.

Other tour related items:

** Carol suggested each table at the ponds have a large map of Cedar Rapids. Richard Miene said he had access to maps and will get enough.

** Rita Tharp mentioned their address was incorrect on the maps, but that the street was only a block long and it should not be a problem. Address is correct for the tickets.

** The signs are stored at Beuterís along with the wading pools used for marginal plants.

The door prizes included some yard figures donated by the Michels and went to:

Herman Michel
Kacy Novak
Pat Beuter
Pam Moore
Tim Nolan
Lisa Lantham
Monica Morley
Edna Rife
Rita Tharp
Clarence Serbousek

Dennis Sindelar announced the names of the door prize winners from the June 9th meeting where the prizes were absent. Sharon Weiss offered to deliver Dorothy Helms her prize. Other winners were: Gary Hunerdosse, Joe Dos, and Rick Fangman. Sindelars will continue to unite the winners with their prizes.

Edna served some exquisite refreshments!! We munched and since the rain had let up, took another opportunity to view the gardens and ponds before gathering in the garage for Ednaís presentation on sand casting lawn ornaments.

Ednaís lawn sand casting was to be a very large leaf. Rhubarb and other such leaves are great. She laid it out and covered it with Premixed concrete, like Quikrete. The indepth instructions can be found on line at www.GardenGateMagazine.com in their article archives, ďSand-cast a BirdbathĒ.

Meeting adjourned.
Carol Sindelar

Let me mention again that the address for Tharp's on the poster is incorrect. 338 Mayberry Drive NW is the correct address. And it will be correct on the tickets. It was a victim of the old "cut and paste" process where the original text is not all removed. In this case it made the street about a mile longer than it actually is. Oops.

Thank yous to those who continue to help out by providing snapshots of EIPS activities and ponds. This month especially to Joe Dos, Tim Nolan and Richard Moore for the pictures.

Next month the tour will be over and we will be needing Articles for the newsletter. "What is happening in your pond?"

EIPS EDITOR ó Carol Sindelar

Synopsis of presentation on gourd birdhouses presented by Nancy Baldwin May 12th at EIPS


** Gourd birdhouses are naturally insulated for cool or warm.

** There is no maintenance-no poles to reset or hinges to replace

** They sway in the breezes because they are light

** Predators donít like moving objects

** Inexpensive to make if time isnít considered

** The birds do the cleaning because you canít


** You will need a fence row or trellises or an old ladder or something for the vines to cling to-keeps the gourds hanging versus being on the ground to prevent rotting, mold and a flat side.

** They will need full sun

** The best gourds for birdhouses are the bottle variety. There are many other varieties that work well too!

** Since gourds are 90% water it is best to cut the vines so they are no longer than 10 feet so the vine can support the heavy gourd

** Some fertilizer (manure) when they are planted is a good idea and then no more, too much fertilizer causes too many vines and smaller gourds

** The gourds will be green, then yellowish and then tan

** They need at least 100 days for adequate maturing and need to be watered periodically

** If the gourds will be touching the ground it would be useful to mulch with some hay to avoid blemishes and insects

** Allow to grow on the vine as long as possible even past a light frost

** They can be grown into unusual shapes by placing the small gourd in various containers


** Gourds are ready to harvest when the stem is brown

** Leave at least a two to three inch stem

** Handle with care because they bruise easily

** Rub with a solution of 10% vinegar and water or bleach and water or alcohol and water. This retards mold

** Dry in a ventilated, warm place such as behind a furnace or near a vent. They can be hung in individual mesh bags, placed on a palette or a horizontal screen but must be turned periodically and must not touch

** If some rot, discard immediately

** Excessive mold should be scraped off during the drying process

** It may take up to a year or more to dry the gourds you will know they are dry when the seeds inside rattle. They are then ready to be washed with soap and water and a scratcher

** They can be coated in urethane, but I prefer not and so do the birds. They will last longer with urethane, however mine last as long as five years without


You will need to make 5 holes in your birdhouse (six if you put on a perch).

** An entrance hole (the size of a quarter or 1 inch for a house wren)

** Three small holes in the bottom for drainage.

** One hole in the top the size of your wire you will use to hang the house

Do not hang by the stem.

A saw toothed drill bit with a smaller bit in the center on a stable drill press works best to drill the entrance hole. An exacto knife can be used, but the gourd must be damp so it will not crack or chip. Place the hole up to 6 inches above the bottom of the gourd keeping in mind the angle to avoid rain run off entering the gourd. Clean the seeds out by shaking-a stick or spoon will help loosen the membrane. One wire works best for the hanger-eliminates predators. Use something to reinforce hole, a button, a small belt buckle or a twist of wire. Insert the wire though the hole in the top and then patiently work it thru the entrance hole and attach the re-enforcer and pull the wire back thru. I do not use a perch because they encourage predators. Perches made from any stick can be inserted with a sixth hole. Use as little glue as possible-birds donít like it


Must be to hang it in part shade near some foliage. If you wish wrens to come, hang 6-10 feet from the ground. Wrens are very social so the house can hang near people traffic. Do not hang over gravel or cementhard landing for the babies. The entrance opening should be to the SE to avoid the most prevalent westerly rains. Your gourd houses will be the first used. Do not move them from year to year because birds tend to come ďback homeĒ. Gourds unsuited for houses make great plant hangers


Look in the C.R. Penny Saver, on Weds. July 6th for an article about our Pond Tour. 22 different newspapers have been contacted, along with 10 County extension Offices, and 6 area radio stations.

A BIG THANK YOU, goes out to 2 of our members !!!!! Deb Walser, Master Gardner, who has faithfully mentioned our Pond Tour, every time she is on the radio. Listen to her on WMT Radio, every Weds. from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 on the "Expert Hour" & Sat. mornings 7:00 to 8:00 on "Master Gardeners". Club member, Sharon Weiss, has paid for an advertisement for" County-Bloomer of Vinton", during the Saturday time slot of "Master Gardeners". In her ad, she mentions our Pond Tour!!!!!! THANK YOU.

Watch KCRG, channel 9, Friday July 8th, from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m., our pond tour will be mentioned.

Wanted: 2 volunteers

The final line up follows. Please note we have one space open to help out. Please contact Rosie and Herman Michel 319-366-1789 or conner173@mchsi.com if you can help with the tour by manning a ticket table at one of the ponds.

(Volunteers needed) @ 3325 26th Avenue, Marion - Perry & Susan Benore
Dorothy Helms & Sharon Weiss @ 488 W. 33 Avenue, Marion - Susan Hightshoe
David & Judy Halfhill @ 4530 Lancaster Dr. NE, CR - Louis & Jaque Winchip
Gil & Monica Morley & Elena @ 3808 Silver Spring Dr NE, CR - Freddie & Nancy Koontz
Quinn & Kacy Novak @ 4297 Zeman Dr. SE. CR - Herman & Rosie Michel
Dennis & Carol Sindelar @ 4297 Zeman Dr. SE. CR - Plant Sale & Club Table
Jackie & Harry Allsup @ 306 Red Fox Rd SE, CR - Gary & Jo Hunerdosse
Rick & Marty Fangman @ 2057 Eastern Blvd SE , CR - Brady & Lisa Lanham
Wayne & Pat Beuter @ 3313 Waveland Dr. NW, CR - Robert & Roberta Ward
Clarence & Eileen Serbousek @ 338 Mayberry Drive NW, CR - Larry & Rita Tharp
Tim & Linda Nolan @ 40 Linda Court, Springville - Marge & Roger Thompson


Pond sitters, please stop by Rosie & Herman Michelís to pick up your packet of tickets, maps, change, about 10:00 am the day of the tour.

When the Pond Tour is over, all you members that helped that day, are invited back to the Michel's for something to eat & drink. Party!!!!! Be sure &bring your lawn chairs along.

How else to get involved:

If you have plants to donate to the plant sale, please have them marked with the name of the plant, blooming color, where it needs to be planted (in the water, on the edge, etc) and a price. Remember, we hope to make some money with this sale but we also do not want any plants left at the end of the day. Price them to move. Plants can be delivered to the sale site at the July 7th meeting or the morning of the tour.

Click here to see the 2005 Pond Tour poster.

Water Lilies!!!!

Country-Bloomers of Vinton, (Sharon Weiss) has numerous, big, healthy, water lilies plants for sale, $12.00 each. There are all sorts of colors including White, Pink, Apricot and Red.

Marking your Plant Sale plant:

A helpful hint for marking your donated plants for the EIPS plant sale is to use plastic table ware for plant markers. By writing on the bowl of a plastic spoon, or the handle of the knife or fork with a permanent marker, you get a great plant label. Another idea is to print a label on paper and then weave it through the prongs of the fork. Then the handle can be pushed into the potting soil.

EIPS and Food

At several of the meeting this year the hosts have chosen to serve some great food. It has been delicious and the club is really appreciative. But let it be known to those of you who are planning to host a meeting or are thinking about it in 2006, feeding us is not mandatory, nor even expected. All hospitality is appreciated, whether it is thirst quenching ice water or a brat barbeque. It is up to you. We are mostly just glad to be invited to your pond. We are always looking for new ponds to visit, donít let the refreshment issue cause you to hesitate to invite EIPS to meet at your pond.


The Toledo Library, and Ponds & Posies Tour participants really appreciated your support for this project, your ads certainly caught our attention. Thank-you so much. It was a success with over 100 people attending!

Click here to see the 2005 Pond Tour poster.

Eastern Iowa Pond Society Membership Application

Noteóthis is a tentative schedule. That means don't keep it. Donít 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) July 7th -6:30 p.m. Pre-Pond Tour
Usually at one of the tour ponds.

(Sun) July 11th
Pond Tour location still to be determined

(Sat) July 23rd Toddville
Hosts Richard & Faith Miene?
7912 Morris Hills Rd, Toddville

(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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