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    "Pond Happenings"

    August 2003 Newsletter

    AUGUST MEETING The August meeting will be held on Saturday, August 9 at 8:00 am at Anne and Seth DeVirgilio's pond in Tempe. The subject this month is turtles, tortoises, and tarapins in the pond environment. Club members with any kind of turtle are invited to speak with a focus on determining what kind of turtle, tarapin or tortoise would do best in your particular backyard situation. Other topics will include building the habitat, care, feeding, living habits (good and bad), maintaining good health, and breeding. Dr. Karen Claus from McClintock Animal Clinic will also be speaking. The DiVirgilio's moved into their house about 1 1/2 years ago and the backyard is still under construction. It has improved substantially from a yard with nothing but river rock to a yard with trees, a walkway and especially a pond. There is a leopard spotted tortoise that lives in the backyard that will be the subject of a portion of the meeting. Anne and Seth are in the process of remodeling the pond and are aiming to have it completed before the meeting. It will be increased from 1100 gallons to about 1500 gallons. It is kidney shaped, has a small waterfall and is surrounded by a mixture of flagstone and rock. It is home to goldfish, mosquito minnows, lilies, iris, canna lilies and snowflake. The oxygenating grasses are so plentiful that there will be quite a bit available for members to take home from the meeting. They also have mosquito minnows to give away. Please be sure to bring your lawn chairs and any plants to share. Remember that the meeting starts at 8:00 am!!


    JULY MEETING REVIEW Due to the heat, our July meeting was held indoors and 41 members were in attendance. Visitors and new members were welcomed and the treasurer gave his report. Dan gave a summary of the June pond tour, relayed the few complaints taken and made some possible suggestions for next year. A discussion followed about the tour and the suggestions. The meeting was then turned over to John and Maureen Voloudakis, GPPS members and owners of The Potted Plant, Inc. Their presentation on the care of indoor plants was both informative and enjoyable. John demonstrated that the common moisture meters used for testing moisture in the dirt of a potted plant are very inaccurate because they measure minerals and not wetness. When he placed it in a bottle of water, it recorded no moisture. When he put it in a pot of sand with minerals it recorded moisture present. They also brought an invention of theirs that probes a plant pot and removes a small sample of dirt so that the moisture can be determined. Several different plant species were displayed and light and watering requirements were reviewed. After the meeting, we enjoyed cookies and carrot cake and many members headed home with new pond plants.