EIPS Newsletter

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In This Issue: November 2007

Saturday, November 10, 2007
Cooper’s Mill
100 F Ave NW
Cedar Rapids, IA
5:00 pm to 5:30 Social Time
5:30 pm Dinner at your cost (cash only) no checks

Recognition Night

All volunteers will be recognized for a fine job done throughout the year. Come celebrate with us. Need to be present to win. A gift to all that attend….

Election Night

Vice President

Who will volunteer?
Celebrate with the 2008 officers!!

You don’t need to be a volunteer to attend the festivities. You do need to have fun and enjoy the night and be willing to celebrate another year for the club. It’s a great night to get involved, starting with voting for the officers for 2008. And signing up for a committee.

Remember...Volunteers make a successful club!

No minutes submitted for October 27th meeting

By Josh Spece

Hosta ‘Guardian Angel’

Part of the fun in growing and collecting Hostas are the names. Tell me you don’t crack a smile or chuckle when you read the names ‘Double D Cup’, ‘Daisy Doolittle’, and ‘Hanky Panky’. Yes, those are all real Hostas! It is not uncommon for people to buy a Hosta for the name, regardless of what it looks like. Sometime the name is better than the plant and sometimes the plant is better than the name. Other times, though, the name and the plant are both excellent. Such is the case with Hosta ‘Guardian Angel’.

‘Guardian Angel’ is a sport of the giant ‘Blue Angel’. It has large blue leaves with a lighter, misted, bluish-white center. The center color is most pronounced in the spring and depending on the location and growing conditions, the leaf can turn nearly solid blue by fall. I’ve had good luck with the color holding most of the season in bright shade. Often the leaves show some puckering and gathering where the two colors meet. ‘Guardian Angel’ is easy to grow and develops into a large, imposing plant. A mature ‘Guardian Angel’ is a spectacular sight to behold!

Many people plant Hosta ‘Guardian Angel’ because it is such a beautiful plant, while others plant it for sentimental reasons. Regardless of the reason, I think everyone needs a ‘Guardian Angel’ in their life!

As I step out of the house on my way to work, the overhead sound of geese flying over causes me to look up and watch. I love that; the sound of geese in flight. The fall mornings are brisk now and I can see a whisper of frosty icing covering the now brown remnants of my gardens. As I pause to glance around, as I do every morning, I notice there’s actually fog rising from out of my pond giving the whole thing kind of a eerie marshy feel. . The fish are no longer staging at the normal feeding area where I throw food every morning before I rush off to work. One pond lays completely lifeless, as we took the fish inside and cut off all the foliage from the plants. It’s black, still surface reflects the early morning sky and a tinge of orange sunlight. I look out at the gardens and I feel both sad and yet relieved. The burning bush beside the pond is flaming bright red, just the autumn punch I was looking for when I planted it there. Love it when I actually get something right. Not much can be said for the rest of the gardens. Only a few tall grasses, a couple mums, and one lone canna that I missed digging are all that is left standing. I’ve been working hard every weekend to cut, rake, and haul as much of the dead foliage away as I can. The walnut tree that overlooks my yard is finally bare and the squirrels chatter and continue to carry off the remaining nuts that I left behind. I’ve added pumpkins and a scarecrow in a desperate attempt to regain a little color to my now drab background. I hate winter and the dead gardens and cool mornings are the early warning signs of what’s to come. And yet, I’m tired of the constant care the gardens can sometimes require. Mother Nature is about to give all her glory a rest and I’m sure she knows best. So with her as my mentor, I’ll take a much needed break in the weeding, mowing, and ponding, too. Regretfully, for the first time this fall, I head off to work without making the routine walk over to the pond to feed the fish. I pull my coat around me and breathe in the cool morning air. The sound of the overhead geese fades away leaving only the sound of the water falls to beckon my attention. Soon it too, will be turned off and the silence of winter will be upon us. Garden chores are replaced with holiday crafts and inside decorating. The crackling of fireplaces replaces the soothing sound of moving water. Winter forces us to take a break, make plans for next year’s garden, and enjoy family and friends during the holidays.

Hopefully, you have your fall chores completed now also. If anybody has specific questions about what to do with certain plants or fish, please be sure to bring them to the last meeting of the year or call a fellow experienced pond club member. Happy holidays, rest, stay warm, see you in the Spring! – Jackie Allsup 934-3665

I would like to thank all those that participated in the survey. Your feedback is valuable. It is good to know that you are satisfied with the newsletter. Since you would like to read more about your fellow members, please help me meet your request by submitting articles or just a paragraph about what is happening at your pond. In response to a comment, I have increased the size of the photos in the last newsletter and will continue to do.

I would like to thank the following members for contributing articles to the newsletter...

Josh Spece - Meet the writer of our Hosta of the Month. What a joy reading up on all the varieties of Hostas. Thanks, Josh!!

Secretary Jackie Allsup - Besides writing the minutes every month, and being the club’s Doctor Jackie, she is always willing to write an informative article for us. Thanks, Jackie!!

Joe Olsen, Tim Nolan, and Vice President Larry Thompson - Larry, Joe, and Tim all wrote great articles this year for the newsletter. Thanks guys!!

Special Thanks: Goes out to Robert Hollenbeck for pictures he summitted of Joe Olsen’s meeting & for the Mini Lighting Tour. Another GREAT volunteer...

From your editor, Monica Morley and my partner, coeditor and sister, Maria Hamilton. We hope you have enjoyed the newsletter this year and we hope to move it up a notch next year with more views and pictures from our membership. Always open to suggestions send us an e-mail: mespringcove@aol.com

Let’s Kick it up a notch...

Click for Volunteer pictures!

Yes, it really does exist…..the park bench that the club donated to the city for the bicycle trail which runs through downtown, can be found easily! It is located about a mile or so south of the Tate Cummins Softball Complex in S.W. Cedar Rapids. By Tim Nolan

Click for Bench picture!

Ron & Edna Rife (left) were honored November 1st. Many friends attended a potluck dinner to wish Ron & Edna well in their new adventure. Ron & Edna have been long time and active members. Everyone lifted their glass and toasted two of the nicest people.

Click for Farewell Dinner pictures!

“Good Luck, you will be missed”
Your ponding friends


Again this January/February (If there is enough interest), I'm thinking of holding special fish health classes. These are very informal classes where we'll get together either Saturday or Sunday afternoon, depending on what works for everyone, and talk strictly about fish health, water quality, and anything else anybody wants to learn more in depth about. Classes will be in Greg Bickal's Toddville garage, again. We have lots of very good fish people in the club and I have as much to learn from them as I think I can share. We'll talk water chemistry and using test kits. We'll practice microscopes and parasite and bacterial treatments. We'll generally talk about where we buy our supplies, and which products we prefer and why. The amount of meetings is strictly dependant on the class, how fast we move and what we want to cover.

If you are interested in participating and would like on the email/phone list, please call or email me, Jackie Allsup, EIPS Koi Health Advisor 319-934-3665 - Cedarserviceja@aol.com

In The Country Garden & Gifts.

E.I.P.S. members receive a 10% discount. Must show your current membership card at time of purchase.

Prairie Creek Nursery

4100 Bowling Street SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404


Stop in to see Shirley and Kevin at Prairie Creek Nursery

** Pond Supplies
** Design & Installation
** Aquatic Plants
** Japanese Koi & Goldfish
** Aerators & Fountains
** Gifts for the water gardener

November Birthdays

Larry Thompson - Nov 4
Dick Isard - Nov 14
Robert Hollenbeck - Nov 29

If you would like your birthday printed in the newsletter, email us at mespringcove@aol.com or sign in with the Hospitality Committee: Elena Murillo or Gil Morley

Here's a bunch of translations of the color names:

  • Ai - red
  • Aka - red
  • Beni - red
  • Budo - purple
  • Cha - tea or brown colored
  • Gin - (pron. geen) silver
  • Hi - (pron. hee) red
  • Ki - (pron. kee) yellow
  • Kin - (pron. keen) gold
  • Midori - (pron. meedoree) green
  • Orenji - (pron. orenjee) orange
  • Purachina - (pron. pooracheenah) platinum or metallic white
  • Shiro - (pron. sheeroh) white
  • Sumi - (pron. suemee) black Yamabuki - (pron. yahmahbookee) metallic yellow

Q&A from: www.nishikigoi-info.com

My pond froze over during the winter, are my koi still alive below the ice?

There is a possibility that your Koi may still be alive. It depends on three variables:

The size of your Koi in the pond.

How many Koi you have in the pond.

The size of the pond itself.

If you have only a few small Koi in a large pond that is several feet deep, then they should be fine. If you have a small pond with several large Koi, then the odds are against you and there's a good chance that they could have run out of oxygen.

The best thing to do right now is to get fresh oxygen in the water. To do this, pour hot water onto the ice so that it will melt a hole through it. Never chip at the ice, it's a great way to harm your Koi. Their lateral line is used to sense vibrations. Then either put an air stone or a horse trough heater into the water to keep the ice open.

Q&A from: www.nishikigoi-info.com

In the September newsletter we included a survey and would like to thank the members who responded. We received surveys from 50% of the active membership. The survey questions were taken from the AKC Membership 2006 Survey. Here is what you told us.

General Information

85% joined EIPS for educational purposes
75% also have water plants
60% have a home made pond
40% have professionally built ponds
65% also have flower gardens
90% of the ponds are stocked with koi and/or goldfish
35% joined for the social aspect
45% have been in the hobby for over 5 years
25% felt that club politics could lead to not renewing membership
  Comments: Lack of receiving education on ponds could be a reason for not renewing.


85% read at least 5 issues & enjoy receiving the newsletter by mail
45% enjoy seeing more pictures of members
80% of the members are satisfied with the newsletter
35% are willing to contribute articles

Monthly Meetings

85% would like to read more articles about fellow members & their ponds
  Comments: Photos are too small
  Web info is great
10% decline helping w/newsletter
80% prefer meetings last less than 3 hours
80% like meetings held on Sat vs Sun
65% prefer meeting once a month
35% prefer meeting twice a month
25% would like an agenda before a meeting
75% would be interested in a Saturday meeting with a potluck
  Comments: Potluck in a park once during the year.
  More “show & tell”
10% have a problem hearing speakers


50% felt the meeting cut into open pond discussion
30% felt there was a lack of a fixed agenda & substance in meeting topics/ irrelevant topics/repetitive subject matter
35% felt there was a lack of focus on ponds
35% perceived individuals as confrontational/inconsiderate
65% would like a membership list
90% enjoy the Nov ember recognition dinner
70% would like to be informed of upcoming events.

Topics of interest

35% Pond Design
70% Filtration
65% Info on Koi
80% Koi health
85% Pond Care
50% Koi Foods
75% Landscaping
80% New Products
80% Sharing Experiences
80% Water Gardening (plants)
45% Learning about goldfish
90% interested in hearing outside speakers, ie master gardeners, etc.
95% would be interested in a pond side “health” test

Mini Pond Tour

95% would enjoy a mini pond tour not connected with the main pond tour
80% would be interested in showing their pond on a mini tour

Pond Tour

80% would be willing to show their ponds
90% likes scheduling ½ days for pond sitters
90% prefer the tour be held in the Summer
80% prefer the pond tour be held on Sunday
90% are satisfied with the advertising
90% request that “For Sale” and political signs be remov ed the day of the tour
50% were interested in a plant sale during the year, other than the pond tour

Special Events

60% like the idea of seminars
70% are interested in day trips, ie gardens, arboretum, etc.
30% are interested in a waterfall demonstration day
25% would like to visit other pond clubs
50% are interested in hands-on projects


50% thought volunteers should receive free admission to an event
75% appreciate recognition, either at meeting or in the newsletter
90% do not volunteer due to lack of free time
45% felt that we should make sure volunteers are not overworked or burned out
50% liked the idea of reaching out to new members with one-on-one invitations.
15% agreed with offering incentives, ie volunteer only parties
20% agreed that volunteering needs to be more fun
60% liked the idea pairing new members with old members to get them involved.

Thanks for your participation.
Monica Morley, Editor

from www.pondmarket.com

We lost a whole pond full of pretty large Koi one year because of rapid temperature changes. The water was very, very cold after a prolonged and sever winter. Then, one day, the temperature suddenly spiked at 72 degrees Fahrenheit. This caused the upper layers of water to warm rapidly and because of the different density of warmer water and the colder water, the pond “flipped” rapidly (the warmer water went down, the cold water rose). Koi are very sensitive to sudden temperature changes and did not survive this upheaval. It was awful. It is best to avoid this kind of disaster by letting a small pump bubble at the side of the pond, about a foot or so down to keep the water circulating just a little bit.

Another case of fish loss is a pond covered in ice and snow. The snow darkens the pond and plants that may be left at bottom (oxygenators and even algae) will start taking already depleted oxygen from the water. Always sweep snow off the pond to avoid this common pitfall! (NEVER step on the ice, use a long handled broom to avoid falling in ).

Meet Jeff Garner and Kerry Shaner, they are new 2007 members. They wanted to learn more about their pond and meet other people who are interested in water gardening and koi ponds. After going on the pond tour this year and meeting some of the members, they decided to join. Their pond is three year’s old. It was built by the previous homeowners in the summer of 2004. They have been water gardeners since October of 2006 when they bought the house. They both enjoy the waterfall and the many colorful fish. It is the home to 10 koi and about 30 goldfish. A couple of their favorite water plants are Cattails and hardy water lilies. You know you have caught the water gardening fever when you start naming your fish. Jeff and Kerry’s largest koi which is about 15 inches and is known as Bruce after the name of the mechanical shark used in the movie “Jaws”. Their white and black koi is named Willy after the whale, & their blue and orange koi is named Ricky Martin.

And for all you Hawkeye fans, their small koi that is all black except for yellow fins and tail is, of coarse, Herky! They spend their ponding time hanging out on the deck with friends and listening to the waterfall and enjoying a nice glass of wine or a martini. The pond tends to really be a major conversation piece, people always ask do the fish winter over and things like that. They have added many plants around the pond from the previous owners and have added lights around the pond. The also redesigned the spill of the waterfall. So far they have been lucky, they have not fallen in yet...knock on wood!!

Click for pictures of Jeff and Kerry's pond!

Reprinted from Splash

To ensure survival of the fish during the winter in ponds, some minimum requirements must be met. Now is the time to prepare:

**The fish must have sufficient oxygen. Use a floating de-icer or leave a pump bubbling on a plant shelf to keep an open area if the pond starts icing over. Remove as much organic waste as possible from the pond bottom. Organic waste uses up valuable oxygen during decomposition. This is a good time to thin out the fish population. Ponds are low in oxygen during the winter if ice forms and the problem is compounded if there are too many fish.

**The Pond must be deep enough. It is, of course, important that the pond is deep enough so it does not freeze all the way to the bottom, so the fish have some area where they can survive.

**A place to hide from predators. As the plants in the pond go dormant, fish find less cover to hide from predators such as birds. Use sections of terra cotta pipe or flower pots turned on their side in the bottom of the pond to provide the needed cover.

from Pat Bueter

Chunky Apple Pumpkin Bread

1 1/2 c Sugar
1 c canned pumpkin
1/2 c water
1/3 c vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 2/3 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 c chopped peeled tart apples
3/4 c chopped walnuts

In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, pumpkin, water, oil, and eggs; mix well. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and cloves; add to the pumpkin mixture. Beat on low speed just until moistened. Fold in apples and walnuts.

Pour batter into a greased 9x5x3” loaf pan. Bake at 325 for 1 ½ to 1 ¾ hours or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool loaf for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Would you like to show your pond?

* Member must have adequate parking

* A safe environment for the pond viewing guest.

* A pond that is pleasant to look at and has features that would be of interest as a Koi Pond or as a water feature to the viewing public. Remember, it will be on public display.

* The owners must be available at their pond during tour hours to answer questions.

* Supply a description of their pond with driving directions to the pond’s location,

* Must have Home Owners Insurance in case of accidents on your property.

These are a few areas to think about. The final selection of ponds and list of guidelines will be issued by the Pond Tour Committe

Reprinted from Splash

Tropical Plants like Umbrella Palm, Water Canna’s, Taro, etc. are the joy and beauty of ponds, but they do present the problem of what to do with them in the winter. Many pond owners just use them like annuals and discard them in the fall, but there are ways to over-winter them even without a heated greenhouse. Take them out of the pond and hose down the pot and insert it, pot and all, into a clean, larger pot. The plant then goes into the house to be used as a houseplant for the winter. They have to be kept very, very moist and may loose some leaves but will perk up again when they are returned to the pond in the spring. They can also be stored in a tub of water in the basement or a garage that does not freeze (or go below 40 degrees Fahrenheit).

Eastern Iowa Pond Society Membership Application

November 10
5:00 pm @ Cooper’s Mill
Cedar Rapids, IA
Recognition & Election Night

Agenda: Business Meeting: 30-40 minutes
Program: 30-45 minutes
Tour of host’s pond/water features: 40-60 minutes

All locations and topics are subject to change. Read your monthly newsletter for details and updates.

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