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    "Pond Happenings"

    October 2001 Newsletter



    Our October meeting (Saturday the 13th) will be at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum located 60 miles east of Phoenix. The meeting will begin at 9:00am and will be held in the Lecture Room. 

    Ray, the Park Manager, will be our featured speaker. The arboretum is Arizona's oldest botanical garden and was established in 1924 by botanical enthusiast and mining magnate William Boyce Thompson. While growing into a major center for plant research, it has also blossomed into a lush desert garden with plants from all over the world. It is both a National Historic District and an Arizona State Park.

    Nestled at the base of Picketpost Mountain are a variety of gardens showcasing herbs, cactus, heritage roses, hummingbird and butterfly plants, a eucalyptus forest and demonstrations of home gardening in the desert. There is a desert lake, water features with plants and goldfish and a riparian area that the Queen Creek flows through. The lake is 20-30 feet deep and is home to mostly native fish ? the White Amur, Gila Top Minnow and Pup Fish. 

    There are about two miles of easy nature trails, a bookstore, plant shop, herb garden and greenhouse. There is also a shaded picnic area with charcoal BBQ's available. There is no snack bar or café, but restaurants for lunch can be found in Superior three miles to the east. A self-guided tour of the arboretum takes about 2 hours. 

    Admission fees for GPPS members have been waived for the day of the meeting!! Please be sure to let the attendant at the Visitors Center know that you are from the Pond Society.

    Their Fall Plant Sale is being held that weekend, so bring your plant shopping list along! For more information about the arboretum, call (520) 689-2811 or access the website at

    We have permission to have refreshments into the Lecture Room. If anyone would like to volunteer to bring refreshments, please contact Dianne E..  Chairs will be provided, so you can leave yours at home!

    Directions: Take the Superstition Freeway (U.S. 60) east past Apache Junction. At Florence Junction, be sure to continue on U.S. 60. The arboretum is about 12 miles east of Florence Junction near milepost 223. There is a sign on the right side of the road about a half mile from the entrance. Enter through the Visitor Center and the Lecture Room is located in the Smith Building that is about 200 yards from the Visitor Center.


    Although the mornings had been cooler, it was still a little warm for our meeting! We had an attendance of 71 and everyone enjoyed the beautiful pond and large backyard. Emily and Dave did all the landscaping and pond construction themselves and really did a fabulous job.

    After voting at the August meeting to purchase a new sound system, Brad had our new Fender Passport system  and Sennheiser Evolution Series wireless microphones up and running and it was great! Thanks go to Arnie who brought a collection of favorite pond photos to display and also to Kay who passed around an article about algae and a cartoon for everyone to read. Brian, of Crosstimber Koi, gave away three door prizes to the lucky members that answered his questions correctly.

    Dale Kesel, owner of Spectrum Photography, was our featured speaker. He explained some of the basics of photography and also gave us more details about photographing our ponds. Some of his secrets:

    • Let your heart guide you, not your head
    • Read the instruction book that came with your camera
    • Use the "Rule of Thirds" (divide the viewfinder into thirds horizontally and vertically, then line up the subject with one of the dividing lines)
    • The best light is during the first two hours of daylight and the last two hours
    • Place the light source slightly in front and to a side
    • Get close and look for details
    • Change your point of view (kneel, aim camera down, etc.)
    • Use 100 speed film (or 400, but avoid 200)

    • The majority of sunlight reflects at the reciprocal angle to which it strikes a surface, and it is best to line up your shot above, below, or off to one this of this intense line of reflection