Members Only Tour, Saturday May 9


Even the Deer joined in.

Even the Deer joined in.

As I had indicated in an earlier blog of this event, we were all to meet at the “Y” at Oak Hill to get our instructions from Jeannie. Everyone else had to follow a set of clues to arrive at the different locations but because I wanted to take pictures, Jeannie had furnished me with my own set of instructions with actual addresses on them so that I didn’t have to follow the clues. I met with everyone else at the “Y” and there were about nine cars ready to go. I quickly moved on ahead to get a good start driving directly to Sol’stice in Dripping Springs which I knew well having passed it many times on my way to Tractor Supply to buy fish food.

When I arrived, I was met by the owner Chris Smartt, who chatted with me for a bit before sending me on my way to take pictures.  Sol’stice is a very interesting place. In some respects it is like a regular garden nursery with plants and trees of many varieties for sale but what really makes it different, are the pieces of metal art work hung or placed around the three acre that makes up the site. Inside the house, there are paintings and other art items enough to interest any collector of fine art of the garden and house variety.

You can enlarge the pictures by clicking on them. You can also scroll left or right after enlarging them.

I happily wandered around taking pictures as fast as I could click the shutter. There were so many interesting things, some very beautiful and others, not so much but all were very artistic. In the house, taking the pictures presented a different challenge with the outside light coming through the windows requiring me to constantly be making adjustments to the camera. Altogether, I took more than 175 pics but many will get discarded along the way as I edit it down to a manageable slide show.

It turns out that the next stop on this fun trip was to see a pond close to Wimberley. It had originally been a swimming pool that was no longer in use. Chris had done all of the heavy work like placing the rocks and plumbing and such and was very enthused by the end result. I bid my farewells and after punching the address into my GPS system, was on my way. It was several miles but a very nice drive. I was almost the last to arrive and was met by a gentleman, John McMillan who introduced himself to me as the owner, after directing me to a parking place.

Most of the members who had participated were gathered on the far side of the pond. I wandered over to see the attraction and discovered drinks and cookies, which explained everything. I walked around taking a lot of pictures and had some company with one of the Grandsons who was  interested in what I was doing and kept pointing out things for me to photograph. The pond itself was very nice and it looked like one end had been turned into a semi bog area to help keep the water clean. The pump and filters were very cleverly hidden and the only sign of moving water was a fountain that bubbled up through the rocks. I wandered around and took a lot of pictures and managed to stay away from the cookies and then moved on to the final stop at Nancy and Jake’s pond. Interesting to note that both ponds that we visited are converted swimming pools and Nancy’s is the only one that still resembles a pool, probably because of the wooden deck.

Since the last time that we had been to their pond, which was for the Christmas get together, they had rebuilt the bog utilizing the full size of it to clean the water. The end result is that the water in the pond is remarkably clear and it is now possible to almost see the bottom of the pond at the 6 feet deep end.

The fish looked in great shape and the big red and silver one is a real eye catcher. It was interesting to see that they had established an underwater growth of hornwort that apparently the Koi were not interested in tearing apart. I asked Nancy how they had done it and she said that it had all happened on its own without any help from either her or Jake other than dropping the original piece into the water. Something worth trying. I took a lot of pictures and as someone had brought an apple pie and there were also brownies lurking around, helped myself to both. I skipped the hot-dogs.

Of the nine cars that attended the event, everyone had a good time and seemed to enjoy themselves. The event had been set up so that the participants had to find their way to the three different places by filling out the various clues that were along the way. Jeannie had even bought prizes (Blowing Bubbles) for the top three participants but as nearly everybody had them all correct, the prizes were shared by everyone each taking turns to blow bubbles. We all sat around talking about the trip and how much fun it had been. We resolved that we need another such trip before the year is out. If anyone has any ideas for a similar trip, please contact Jeannie.

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