"Pondlandia! Do You See What We See?"©
Wednesday December 23 2020
HOLY MOLY!! What a great Wednesday this has started out to be! Last night Big Solid and Your Elf were lamenting the significantly smaller duck and deer populations this year when the Universe stepped it with a nice surprise.
Sit tight today, this is a rather long video but dad-gum it, we got all excited! We first spotted the deer in our ‘warm up walk’ to the Spookey Spikey Woods. We tried to catch them as they took off behind the bamboo barrier but weren’t very successful. That didn’t last long as we trundled on down the road and came upon them in all their Bambi-ness. You can even hear our feets crunching in the leaves. We counted seven in all; it was really cool to see the Mama standing sentinel as we wished them a Merry Christmas and shot some footage of our magnificent SSWoods!
When we got the our regular Pond site, we were so rewarded with ducks we could hardly stand it. And we also had Harry land on DuckFeather Pointe and begin his long, lanky stalk to the north bank of the Pointe.
BUT MY GOODNESS! It appears that the Mallard family has arrived en masse for their holiday visit; Huey and Dewey tasked themselves with managing behaviors; the Buffleheads were busy perfecting their diving techniques and since it was primarily a Boy Buffle group, they might have even been showing off a bit. The Rick-necks were present though always aloof and reserved…they must be introverts.
And then we tried our darndest to sneak up on Harry. The Cypress ‘feather’leaf cushion helped us get as close as we did; Harry was so close to the bank we dang near fell over him trying to find him. And, of course, we did scare him away…but not too far. It’s always a treat to watch the graceful incorporation of long legs, big wings, and extended neck into flight. Don’t you wish you could do that—just pop up and fly!
It wouldn’t do but to take just a bit of footage of the clouds masquerading as a comforter; cold weather due in late tonight. Y’all have a most wonderful Christmas Eve Eve. Stay safe, stay strong, stay healthy, wear a mask, and always always BE KIND. Elf Out!
"Give Me Just a Little More Pondlandia!"
Tuesday December 22 2020
YES!! Not only were we treated to the magnificent double-planet show last night, TODAY marks our slow and delicate approach to spring. Not that we want to rush time, heck, it’s passing fast enough as it is! But, it’s sure nice to see daylight a little bit more every day.
This morning started out pretty slow, though we did initially note that the Ménage á Mallard was in full complement. No Harry sighting, even in his most frequently visited spots. And we haven’t seen Casper in quite some time. Huey and Dewey were roaming all up and down the west bank.
Then we noticed a second Mallard hen, so we aren’t sure if the Ménage has been busted up or what. But while we were filming, we observed a wee bit of duck drama unfolding. The ‘new’ Mallard hen was seen swimming out to join the rest of the Mallard crew. Then, it wouldn’t do but Huey and Dewey took off after her and coaxed her in line with them.
When we finally made it to DuckFeather Pointe, we just validated what we’d already suspected….no fowl action at all. It’s been interesting to see the Pondlandia videos from a year ago when the Pond was teaming with ducks…well, teeming may be a bit of an exaggeration. Anyway, the population this year is way down.
We wish you a beautiful Tuesday…as beautiful in your world as it is in ours here in Pondlandia. Stay safe, healthy, strong, and masked and remember to always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
"Pondlandia Waits for ‘SaturnLight and JupiterBright’©
Monday December 21 2020
We filmed a LOT today so we hope you enjoy. Our foray to the Spookey Spikey Woods found a deer to brighten our day. She ran off as soon as she got a good glimpse of us. We tried to capture a ew more that usually hang our behind some nearby homes but they were so well hidden our efforts were in vain. As we looked across the Pond from the northwest, we saw very very little action…no Harry on the Pointe and only a few Divers, so we hot-footed it over to the main bank (the South bank where the Gazebo is).
We knew Huey and Dewey were hanging out near the drain pipe on the west bank but absolutely missed the Mallard drake also there…and missed, until even later in the video, the hen Ruby also on the drain. We were so interested in getting some footage of Garbo…but the shade made actually seeing her well very difficult. We also got a head’s up from Big Solid that he saw Harry near the south drain pipe. Sure enough, there he was. He did move a muscle, feather, beak, leg, or wing the whole time we filmed him.
On our eventually fruitless effort to walk out on DuckFeather Pointe, we got some good films of Huey and Dewey plus the Mallard pair. And hopefully, some picturesque footage of Pondlandia on the shortest day of the year. Today, Monday, the sun will set at 4:59 p.m. Tomorrow, it will set at 5:00 p.m. We get a whole new minute before it gets dark. And don’t forgot to try to find the ‘double planet’ alignment of Jupiter and Saturn tonight…look in the southwestern sky shortly after sunset to see what should appear to be a really big star. First time these planets have been this close in 800 years; so we’ll likely miss the next one.
So, until tomorrow, we wish you health, safety, strength, and Holiday Joy. Wear a mask, and always, always BE KIND! Elf Out!
"A Winter’s Eve in Deep and Darkish Pondlandia"©
Sunday December 20 2020
We aren’t sure what we did wrong but our initial video started out in slow-mo and then stopped. We must have turned off the camera and kept on ‘filming/talking’…so here’s what we missed sharing. A pretty good close up of one of the Ring-neck Divers and a decent shot of Garbo! Oh well, it just makes us more conscious of being alert with our camera and setting the right, well, setting!!
VERY quiet this Sunday…Winter's Eve! Yep, tomorrow is the first day of Winter. However, to a lot of folks it’s the beginning of a longer day, even if it starts out slow!
There was a fair number of Buffleheads in the Pond but they were missed in the filming debacle. Trust us, they were. We did get some footage of Garbo but she’s so hard to see, she was almost invisible.
Other than that, no Harry or Mallards today. Just our stalwart pair of Huey and Dewey.
We hope your Sunday is a good one wherever you are and that you are anticipating a good Holiday Week ahead. In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy, stay strong and remember to always always BE KIND!! Elf Out!
"Pondlandia—the Wild Beneath Our Wings"©
Saturday December 19 2020
Well, friends, we sure had a GREAT morning in Pondlandia. It was breezy, sunny, and not too very cold. When we saw NO ONE when we first approached the Pond, we almost….almost decided just to try to Gazebo for a looksee across the Pond. Then, we thought, what the heck…let’s go on down to the Spookey Spikey Woods, if nothing more than to get in a few extra steps.
BOY! Was that ever a great decision. Just as we were ambling toward the SSWoods, we darn near ran right up on Harry, Huey and Dewey, and Ruby and Daffy all piled up together in the northeast corner of the Pond. They were all so busy finding food and stalking prey that they just went right on with their own ‘bidness’ and paid us ‘no never mind’. What a treat!! We stayed there a LONG time filming and filming (so that means some serious editing was done). And we think we got a few good still photos as well. Harry was in his Epic Stealth mode and it seemed to pay off for him with some tidbits of edibleness.
And out further mid-Pond were the Divers…this morning mostly Buffleheads. We left that corner of the Pond and did make our way out into the Gazebo for a closer look at the Divers and, yes, we did have a binoculars with us today. What a treat!! There were at least five Buffleheads, three males and two females; also seen were the pair of Ring-necks, though they were working a bit farther out. We saw saw Garbo the Grebe in the first video but when we tried to find her again, what we THOUGHT was her turned out to be a little pile of debris in the Pond. We’ll keep trying to find her because she’s the cutest little Girl (we think).
So, we are really happy to bring you some good film on this December 19th! We sure hope you enjoy and remember to stay healthy, stay safe, stay strong, and mask up AS WELL AS always always BEING KIND!! Elf Out!
"Walking in Pondlandian Sunshine"©
Friday December 18 2020
We were extra late getting to Pondlandia this morning because we wanted to at least let the temperature get above freezing…for Mike Tyson, of course. He’s a tiny little man who is not at all eager to be in the cold. So, as soon as we got to 33º, we all bundled up and headed out.
The Pond was very very quiet..it took us forever to find Harry who was, as usual, hiding in plain sight. We had to get all the way out to DuckFeather Pointe before seeing our Divers. We did have some Buffleheads (or the redneck pronunciation, Baffles) that we caught as they flew from one end of the Pond to the other. We also spotted the Ring-necks as well. Harry was poised on the Pond wall on the west side of the Pond. We can’t really understand how he chooses that place since it’s so far from the water; heck, a fish would be long gone before he reached to spear it. And finally, Huey and Dewey can be seen WAAYY over the Pond as they make their usual round of ‘bank grubbin’.
Looks like the next few days will be pretty nice; at least warmer and dry until the middle of next week. So, we will most certainly endeavor to load up one morning with the binoculars to see what we can find through them.
So, y’all have a most Fabulous Friday! Stay well, stay safe, stay strong, and mask up. We down here are looking forward to getting the vaccine when the most at risk folks have gotten theirs. To tell you the ‘troot’, we would love to GO SOMEWHERE! So, remember to always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
"Sunshine Came Softly to Pondlandia Today"©
Thursday December 17 2020
And that’s EXACTLY how the sun has approached Pondlandia today…not a full blown burst but a gentle easing through clouds that were reluctantly getting out of the way.
And, of course as is the way of an Elder Elf, we forgot our binoculars this morning. It really made no difference as there was precious little to see! Seven geese, no Ménage à Mallard, no really visible divers, though the Ring-neck pair were barely so, no Casper/Opal. BUT, we did have Harry, all hunkered down on DuckFeather Pointe and Huey and Dewey, who were spotted way over on the northeast corner. They were making their way around the banks, scrubbing the banks and bottoms for whatever it is they eat.
So, we did not linger. We left our friends to finish their morning’s efforts of breakfasting and trundled on home on the promise of a lovely day. Today, we will fill our time with some writing (a review of My Octopus Teacher), cooking (vegan Rice Krispy Treats), knitting (finishing up a sweater or trying to), and all those things that filter into the ‘to do’ list.
We hope that you have a day that is warm and comfortable wherever you are. Stay safe, stay strong, stay healthy, mask up, and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
"It’s Cloudy Now in Pondlandia"©
Wednesday December 16 2020
It appears that Mother Earth took our complaints about the sun getting in our eyes seriously…it’s been cloudy for a few days now. The cloud cover does enhance our ability to see things that are obscured by the sun’s glare on the Pond and we are grateful for that. Howsomever, we are looking forward to clearing skies and the return of the sun’s warmth.
We had a repeat performance, almost, of yesterday. Seemingly no one around but Huey and Dewey UNTIL we looked closer. Sure enough, Harry was in his new favorite spot by the south bank drain pipe and a Ring-neck (we think) was just floating around in the Pond like a decoy.
THEN, we caught some activity up close to the levee…sure enough, some Buffleheads were noted. So, we set our intentions and then set off for DuckFeather Pointe to see if we could get a bit closer to them. As it turned out, there were several divers out there which we could not identify…we will most assuredly take our binocs tomorrow so we can at least see them and tell y’all!!
So, on this dreary, damp, and dismal-ish December, we wish you the warmth of being safe, secure, healthy and strong. And always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
"Stopping By the Spookey Spikey Woods on a Cold Pondlandian Morning"©
Tuesday December 15 2020
Though it wasn’t as cold as forecast, it was plenty chilly. The cloud cover that was supposed to dissolve and lower the temps did not, so we were spared a hard freeze and frost. We were walking, sans dogs who really LOATHE the cold, and found ourselves smack dab in the Spookey Spikey Woods and a lovely deer who followed us with her eyes. We were so busy talking about watching the amazing Netflix documentary ‘My Octopus Teacher’, we were not camera ready and missed her companions as their white tail flags flashed up and they sped off into the Woods.
First survey of the Pond left us, yet again, with little to note. Huey and Dewey hanging around waiting for the Keeper of the Corn to appear; that’s not likely as long as geese are around. So, they finally decided give up and paddle around the Pond for a bit. BUT, Big Solid spotted Harry and we trotted out on the Gazebo to try to catch some of the Divers in action. We did see the male Bufflehead diving quite vigorously but no female was seen. There was one of the Ring-necks and a couple of other ducks we just could not get a visual enough to identify.
Harry has kinda honed in on that area near the drain pipe on the south bank; it’s fairly protected and most likely warmer. We later noted him under the deck as well, waiting and wishing for breakfast.
Out on DuckFeather Pointe, we saw the same few ducks from a different viewpoint but nothing drastically exciting. So, we offer you a quiet and still Pondlandia as we also wish for you a safe, secure, healthy day. Looks like there is a light at the end of this COVID tunnel as doses of the vaccine are arriving. In the meantime, mask up and remember…always always BE KIND. Elf Out!
"In the Bleak Pondlandia, Frosty Winds Did Blow!"©
Monday December 14 2020
WHOOEEE!! What wintery, blustery winds buffeted Pondlandia this morning! And we DO understand that in the greater scheme of winteriness, ours is not the bone-chilling cold of, say, Wisconsin or Minnesota. But, to us, it is and we pile every piece of clothing on we can find to brave the elements.
Once again, we initially found ourselves ‘duckless’ with the exception of the two ‘you-know-whos’ who were huddled against the west bank…knowing that the chill west wind would blow right over them. Yet, as we grew closer to the Pond, we certainly did pick up on more and more ‘ducktivity’ in the forms of Garbo, the Grebe and three (maybe four) Ring-necks. Big Solid spotted Harry on the south bank sheltered somewhat by the Gazebo.
To say we did not linger is an understatement, though we did find most of the action from Duckfeather Pointe where there was precious little cushion from the winds!
We take a brief video of our beloved Turtle Tree “Oak-Heart the Elder” as he had some decorations to sport for the holidays. He said it was the first time anyone had decorated him in hundreds of years and he was thrilled. Maybe more will come his way as, like many folks at this time of the year, he gets lonely and sad. If yo know someone who is lonely and sad, be a good friend and say ‘hello in there’.
We hope, wherever you are, that you also stay protected from the bite of this December front and remain safe, strong, healthy, and secure. Remember to mask up if you go out and protect yourself and others. AND forever and always, BE KIND!
"Never a Dull Pondlandia!"©
Sunday December 13 2020
From the obscurity of dense fog yesterday to the clear visibility of today…and then some. What started out, again, as a pretty quiet Pond with no Harry and just a hint of some ducks turned into a rousing morning of quacks, honks, and squawks. Arriving this morning, we found only one Ring-neck in the Pond and Huey and Dewey on the DuckFeather Pointe north bank. BUT! Wait! Then, when we were walking over to the Pointe even though no other feathered friends were visible, we ran into two-thirds of the Ménage á Mallard drew as Ruby ad Daffy were easing into the water at the curve of the southwest bank. We had all that on video, too. ONLY…we accidentally hit slo-mo on our camera, so a 20 second shot of those two turned into THREE MINUTES, none of which was usable. Take our word for it…they were there.
As we stepped onto The Pointe, Huey and Dewey, being fairly tame, didn’t get all flustered and wing off but rather just waddled on out more to the tip end. THEN We noticed FOUR Buffleheads and the second Ring-Neck in that sorta sheltered area of the PondWall and West Bank. Thee came a ‘nuther duck that kinda resembled the little teeny diver that we think is a Grebe, so we decided to give her a name…Garbo.
As we were watching them all dive and surface, we heard the honking of geese and, well, you can just see for yourself!! Their flight to, over, around the Pond (as they are smart to get the lay of the landing) before finally nailing a magnificent splash-down. We watched them, mesmerized, and noted that as they conducted their airplay, how they seemed to be giving direction via nods, and head turns from the leaders. What FUN!! And you did get to see Ruby and Daffy when the geese had set down.
So, what more can we say to all that…except to say stay safe, stay strong, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND!! Elf Out!
"Pondlandia The Obscure"©
Saturday December 12 2020
Welcome to Foggy Bottomless…or at least the appearance of such. Once again, there were some focus issues with the camera which we suspect was related to the density of the fog and inability of the lens to pick up on a focus-worthy object. And once again, the thickness of the cloud on the ground, inspired us to speak as softly as the surrounding air. We were about to move over to DuckFeather Pointe when a pair of Buffleheads landed and another duck also entered the picture. We couldn’t really tell what the fourth duck was; however, just before the two minute mark, it looks like Dewey is actually waving to us and saying, “LOOK!! Here we are!”
We were amazed at how lightened up things got by the time we did make it over to The Pointe AND we were able to catch Harry mid-snack. He had snagged something edible and swallowed it down right before our very eyes; we don’t think it was a fish, maybe a small frog? Then Harry made some significantly quick moves to the other side of The Pointe (faster than we’ve ever seen him move) and then took off to the South Bank.
So, y’all have a great Saturday, December the 12th! Remember to stay safe, stay strong, stay healthy; and always always BE KIND!! Elf Out!!
"Silent Pondlandia. Not-so-Still Pondlandia©
Friday December 11 2020
We had a REALLY big scare this morning a we approached the Pond! We spotted Huey right off the bat, along with the Ménage á Mallard. No Dewey…we looked and looked as we drew closer and closer…no Dewey. Mike Tyson was not happy with the disruption in his usual route down to the Spookey Spikey Woods but we HAD to find Dewey. The visible ducks were all around the drain pipe along the northwest bank! No Dewey…we approached with great trepidation when all of a sudden, whose head POPPED up from the other side of the pipe? Yep, Dewey. He sure had us scared for a bit. You know the lifespan of these Domestic ducks is about 7-8 years, so time is not on our side. We think that all the attention and corn they get will have them with us for a long time.
And, wouldn’t you know it, we skipped the Gazebo this morning since there were visible divers around, no Harry we could spot. and the action seemed to be more toward the west side. As we were filming, we spotted Harry right NEXT to the Gazebo but carefully hidden among the bushes along the bank. So we eased on over to try to get him as an immobile fisher-heron. Well, what did we see as we drew closer to the Gazebo but the little Teeny Diver (we still think it’s a Grebe); he was really close so we crept up closer and closer. We were able to catch him a bit closer than usual, but still not really as close as we’d like. Harry never moved and we were able to hone in on him fairly well. Since we’ve been remiss on our Sign-offs, we went ahead and closed out. Of course, all that did was assure we’d find something else to add…and we did. We found the pair of Ring-Necks really close to DuckFeather Pointe; we’d wait for them to dive and then hurry up to get close. We think we got some good footage of them in spite of the focus changes that the tree branches initiated. AND, the rest of the Gang of Quacks paddled on out as well.
So all in all it was a great Friday morning! Y’all remember to stay safe, stay strong, stay healthy, mask up, and always always, BE KIND! Elf Out!
“Another Day; Another Pondlandia!"©
Thursday December 10 2020
Another Epic Day in Pondlandia…at least it has been so far at about 9 a.m. CST. We were solo today, me ’n Mike Tyson. Big Solid is on the golf course with his duffer pals, talkin’ trash and havin’ fun. It’s a great day to be outside, safely, of course.
Our first glimpse of the Pond indicated a paucity of feathered friends. We did see a pair of Mallards in the curve of the south and west banks and that was it. But, as we approached the gazebo, aka our new ‘video center’, we saw lots of ripples in the water, so we knew there was some kind of action going on. Sure enough, we found Huey and Dewey along with at least two Mallards. As you listen to our narrative, you’ll hear us say that we did not see Harry. Well, doggone it, if you look…HE’S RIGHT THERE standing in the Pond where the water meets the bank further toward us than the ducks. We actually did think that might be him but dismissed that idea when he didn’t move. We had started our way out to DuckFeather Pointe when we DID see him move, so came back for some Harry footage!
We also saw a duck way out in the Pond but couldn't tell what kind. Most likely a Ring-neck as no Buffleheads or the little Grebe were around.
So, we started out to DuckFeather Pointe again when Daffy and Ruby paddled out right in front of us; too good an opportunity to pass up video wise. Then, the final Mallard of the Ménage á Mallard came gliding up. What a lovely scene…so peaceful and serene, for sure. Once again, we said we were heading for the Pointe. When we got there, nothing was happening at all, so we passed on by and FORGOT to say farewell to y’all with our signature sign-off! So, here we go…stay safe, stay strong, stay healthy, mask-up, and always, always BE KIND!! Elf Out!
“There’s No Place Like Pondlandia!"©
Wednesday December 9 2020
What a lovely morning!! See-your-breath frosty-ish with beautiful blue skies; definitely the promise of a warmer December day. We click our sneaker heels together and whisper to the air, “there’s no place like Pondlandia”.
As we approached the Pond today, we noticed right off the bat that the diving ducks were relatively close to the South Bank Gazebo, so we tried to exercise stealthiness to creep into the gazebo and commence filming. We were able to get some fairly decent footage of what we thought were Ring-necked Ducks; we sure hope you can see them as they do their ‘divin’ thing. THEN…we noticed a bit further out, another pair of divers that looked to be Buffleheads. The white one is the male and the darker one, the female. Our trusty binoculars validated those two species…YAY! We sure wish we could find a way to get closer to these beauties (ala the binocular level) so you could see how lovely they are.
Not to neglect the remaining crew, we had Huey and Dewey on the West Bank and a trio of Mallards once again posing as decoys…two drakes and a hen or as we say…Ménage à Mallard. And finally, we spotted the little teeny diver we see from time to time, but were unable to locate him in the binocs. We suspect s/he is a Grebe but we’ll have to get a closer looksee before a final declaration is made.
So, we did walk out a piece on DuckFeather Pointe but did not film as there as nothing of consequence to see UNTIL we noticed a lot of movement ‘waayy’ across the levee toward the Spookey Spikey Woods…at first we thought it to be frolicking dogs but found instead several deer enjoying the morning. Too far away to even attempt to film but, trust your Elf, they were just gorgeous. Maybe tomorrow we’ll see them at a distance that is filmable.
We sure hope you have a wonderful Wednesday and we look forward every day to sharing our Pondlandian adventures. Until tomorrow, stay safe, stay strong, stay healthy and always always, BE KIND!! Elf Out!
P.S. Upon looking at the video to edit and post, we DID see a deer on the levee in the first part…barely noticeable and you have to look really close…about 23 seconds into the video you’ll see her. YAY!
“Some Enchanted Pondlandia!"©
Tuesday December 8 2020
We were late getting our Pondlandia act together this morning but as it turned out, we were treated to some nice video of the Pond and several Pondlandians.
Initially, as is often the case, we only spotted our two most predictable inhabitants…Huey and Dewey and Harry the Great Blue Heron. And, also often the case with your Elf, when we got to Pondlandia we discovered that we’d FORGOTTEN our camera!! ARRGGHH! We remedied that and returned forthwith, which we think proved to be fortuitous. Most likely, had we filmed on our first visit, we would have missed watching a pair of Mallards land in the Pond…always a treat to see. And the emergence of two diving ducks from behind DuckFeather Pointe.
So, y’all have a great rest of this lovely Tuesday and remember to stay safe, stay strong, stay healthy, wear a mask, and always always BE KIND!! Elf Out!
“Pondlandia Will Go On and On!"©
Sunday/Monday December 6&7 2020
Well, grab some popcorn and a ‘cold drink’, sit back and enjoy an extended Pondlandia! As we mentioned, we got so tied up with other stuffs yesterday (Sunday), we opted to combine our Chronicles for both days. AND, to top it off, we got so caught up with Harry and crew this Monday morning, we forgot to end our video with the usual Elfin sIgn-off. So, we’ll just add it at the end of this narrative and hope for the best.
Sunday’s adventure was pretty tame, starting off with a visit to the Spookey Spikey woods…we haven’t been in a while and we wanted you to see how extra Spookey and Spikey they are in the late fall. WE had some deer moving in the background but they were camera shy and did not wish to be filmed.
Today, Monday, there was quite a bit of activity with Ruby and Daffy posing as decoys, Harry on DuckFeather Pointe, Huey and Dewey on their way out to visit him and scour the Pointe bank, AND some Divin’
Ducks as well.
Harry got the bulk of attention today as he strutted his way down the Pointe in search of just the right fishin’ spot on the edge of the West Bank. We did take some footage of him perched for a fish, but it was just too long and he never made a move toward a fish. We eventually flushed him, as you can see, as we made our own way out to set out intentions and to see if we could get a better video of the Divin’ Ducks. We looked them up again when we got home and from our limited knowledge and visual of them, we think they are Ring-neck Ducks. We could clearly see a white stripe across the beak, which is an indicator of the Ring-necks.
So, we’ll stop here and offer the aforementioned missing Sign Off…stay safe, stay strong, stay healthy, mask up and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!!
“Under the Pondlandian Sun"©
Saturday December 5 2020
You know, this ‘episode’ started out gangbusters!! We had Huey and Dewey up close and paddling their way around; Harry was his statuesque self at the tip of DuckFeather Ponte; a little Divin’ Duck was busy doing just that further out in the Pond; and two lovely larger ducks with a lot fo White feathers were out in the middle of the Pond splashing around. We thought they were Bufflehead males, as they are mostly white and their heads resembled the exaggerated head of the Buffles.
When we started to walk over closer to the Pointe to get closer to Harry and to try to get better film of the Buffles, everybody took off!! There was some activity around the area that may have spooked them…we tried to follow Harry but he just plumb disappeared. We did get just a glimpse of the Buffles as they flew away as well.
So there we were, all camera ready and no one to film! So we just decided to go on with our intention settin’ and high-tail it home where we have multiple items on our ‘To Do’ list for this really lovely, sun-drenched Saturday. We hope your day is also bright and that you are able to enjoy every minute. Remember to stay safe, stay healthy, stay strong, wear a mask, and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
“It’s A Wonderful Pondlandia!"©
Friday December 4 2020
We are short and sweet (we hope) today! After dropping a very nervous and cry/squeaky Mikey Tyson off at the vet to get his teeth cleaned, we high-tailed it to Pondlandia to see if any creatures were stirring. Lo and Behold, we found some activity! Not much, but we did have Harry at his spot on the Pointe, a lone little Divin’ Duck in the middle of the Pond, and as we were filming, a Mallard Drake flew in to be the sole representative of Team Mallard. As we were about to walk around to look for Huey and Dewey, they burst out from the bank where they’d been scavenging something underwater.
We actually think the video turned out well considering that a substantial part of it was shot directly into the sun where we could not see the subjects at all.
As we write this a bit later, the sun has called it quits for now as clouds gather, the breeze has picked up a bit, so it seems a lot colder than it was when we greeted our pals.
So, y’all have a wonderful Friday. As the cases of the virus continue to rise, keep yourself safe by masking up, staying socially distant, and washing your hands. We can and WILL make it through this and come out stronger and tougher than we ever thought. AND, we hope a lot kinder. There have been some incredible stories of benevolence as we’ve wandered in the COVID wilderness. Now that is DOING EPIC!! Elf Out!
“And They Call the Wind Pondlandia"©
Thursday December 3 2020
This morning was the antithesis of yesterday, pretty much! Whereas yesterday was serene, sunny (albeit cold) and almost devoid of winged personalities, this morning welcomed us with warmer temps, cloudy skies and a very brisk wind. Not to mention all the feathered activity!!
First, we spotted Casper out on DuckFeather Pointe; then in the middle of the Pond we found Huey and Dewey with four Mallards (we didn’t see the fourth initially…a hen which was hard to spot so far off and obscured by the ripples); then Harry blew out of his spot on the South Bank where we failed to see him and ran Casper off of The Pointe. In the interim, a flock (also known as a skein) of Canada Geese flew in and landed practically in our lap! And finally, additional Mallards were noted in another part of the Pond! It was a Waterfowl-a-Palooza!
Harry and Casper couldn’t make up their minds where they wanted to be. When we walked out on The Pointe to try to find Harry, we accidentally flushed him from the North Bank of the Pointe and he took of to join the gathering on the South Bank. WHEW!!
What a Morning. We were so busy trying to film and block the wind, unsuccessfully we might add, that we bumbled around with all our narration and film quality. Such is the life of a ‘vlogger’! Y’all have a most wonderful Thursday…stay virus free and safe on this day. And remember to always BE KIND! Elf Out!
“The Day Pondlandia Stood Still"©
Wednesday December 2 2020
The day could NOT be any quieter! And, truth be told, we’ve been waiting for JUST the right day for this title since we’ve had it in the back of our little Elfin mind for a long time. Yes, we were a bit later in the morning than usual so we may have missed ‘folks’, but we at least wanted to let the sun thaw things out a bit (and, Mike Tyson is freeze aversive).
Yet, quiet as it was, we were able to find our regulars of Huey and Dewey plus a couple of diving ducks that remained too far out to film or photograph with any good resolution. We also were reminded that much of the appeal of Pondlandia is its quietness and deep peacefulness…a nudge to the heart and soul that we need that from time to time.
So, just enjoy the mirror images and the ripples of melting frost as droplets hit the still water. Then reflect on our daily intentions to see which ones are possible to accomplish today. And, as always, stay safe, stay healthy, stay strong, wear a mask, and BE KIND. Elf Out!
“A Polarized Pondlandia!"©
Tuesday December 1 2020
You know, as a rank amateur vlogger, there is much to learn about filmin’ and today was an exercise in learning. EVERY TIME we stopped the video, something cool happened! We’ll ‘splain as we write.
It was a really cold morning at 27º as we soloed our way to Pondlandia. Big Solid took a really cold Mike Tyson back to the house so we trundled on down to the Pond. We initially saw a couple of Geese on the South bank but what really struck our eye was the beauty of the mist rising from a warm Pond…and as we panned around, we saw a distant Huey and Dewey grazing along the Southeast bank. Filing again from the Gazebo, some movement over the Pond caught our attention. We were able to catch a lovely Mallard drake as he landed. Guess all waterfowl know when it’s time for corn.
We made a couple of attempts to walk over to DuckFeather Pointe but were again interrupted by yet another fly-in. This time it was a pair of Mallards…a drake and a hen. And the darndest thing, we didn’t even SEE them flying in but the video did catch it just as we turned it off!! We will post the still picture we pulled from it! However, you’ll notice the video picks up really quickly after they landed.
We did wander out to the Pointe but after seeing no one (think Harry or Casper) AND the sun was blinding us, we noticed Huey and Dewey heading through the mist…that corn was definitely calling. The Mallards came out to meet and greet. We set our intentions, stopped the camera and, once again, had to return to end our visit with the usual Elfin send-off. We so love doing this!!
“Baby, It’s COLD in Pondlandia!"©
Monday November 30 2020
Well, we are certainly ending November with a blast!! A blast of Polar air! The wind was vicious this morning; we thought we even saw a white cap wave on the Pond but it turned out to be a Bufflehead. We made a beeline to the Gazebo to try to get out of the harshness of the wind and at least have some protection for the microphone. Initially, the only feathered soul we saw was Casper, perched at the tip of DuckFeather Pointe, but as we were walking from the Gazebo to the Pointe, out popped Harry from the North Bank of the Pointe, where he was hidden from us. He took off for the South Bank and one of his favorite yards from which to fish. In the meantime, Casper was noted to fly over to the levee and then when he saw Harry, he made a pass over and around the Pond before giving up and flying away.
There were some Buffleheads in the Pond, as we said, but again, barely visible among the windy water ripples.
December will most certainly start off with our first hard freeze of the season as it’s going to get into the middle twenties. Since our garden was such a flop this fall, we are only too happy to let the twigs left by the caterpillars freeze and then turn them under for the remainder of the year. We will cover it and throw our scraps in for compost.
So, y’all have a great start to this week. Stay warm, stay safe, stay strong, stay healthy, stay masked and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
“Neither Rain nor More Rain nor Gloom Will Deter Pondlandia"©
Sunday November 29 2020
Short and sweet today! It’s very very wet out there, so we were thrilled that our best option for shooting today’s Pondlandia had us sheltered by the Gazebo. There were a BUNCH of Buffleheads out in the Pond today; hard to see from a distance but most certainly the most we’ve seen this year! No Harry to be found, although when we drove by a bit ago, he was on the South Bank waiting for a fish to jump in his mouth. One lone Mallard drake accounted for Team Mallard’s presence today AND the Home Team of Huey and Dewey were thriving in the rain as well. We suspect that the warm water of the Pond is much nicer to feel than the chill of the air.
Speaking of chill—we are really going to feel one over the next few days with lows in the 20’s! As we said, this will finish off our pathetic excuse for a fall garden…the caterpillars wreaked havoc with our vegetables in the ground. We do, however, have some nice Swiss Chard in our straw bales and some teeny baby BokChoy in a planter. Will harvest before it freezes and enjoy.
So, that’s it for this rainy and gloomy Sunday…a fine day for reading, knitting, binging on a Netflix series or just being quiet. Please stay safe and warm and healthy and strong. And always always BE KIND!
“Tales from Topographic Pondlandia"©
Saturday November 28 2020
Don’t be alarmed if today’s title doesn’t make sense, it’s from an album by a progressive rock band called YES and just seemed to fit (with Pondlandian alteration) today.
Once again, we were fooled into thinking all we would see today were Geese. As you can see, they’ve decided to stay with us for a while and seem to enjoy the northeast corner of the Pond. While we were filming them, we spotted Casper, the Great White Egret on the levee, having ‘levee-tated’ himself from the bank. We’d spotted some white ‘something’ as we approached the Pond this morning and quickly sought out the Home Team to make sure they were BOTH around. With relief, we found them further down the levee…so the white turned out to be Casper. And, one thing we did NOT notice while filming this first part was Team Mallard on the West Pond Wall. If you look closely, you can see them; we, on the other hand, missed them completely.
The little Divin’ Ducks were almost invisible in the ripples of the Pond and it wasn’t until we noticed disturbed water that we found them happily going under and up, under and up. We filmed from the Gazebo but still found them very hard to see.
Then, we were able almost walk right up to Harry as he was focused intently on fishing. We should probably call him Job, since he has such patience and stealth as he fishes. As we were leaving, he was still waiting. We also noticed that Casper had left the Levee for the South Bank of the Pond and stood in the shallow waters, also in hopes of a nice breakfast.
And finally, we ventured about half-way out onto DuckFeather Pointe to get a bit closer to the Home Team on the North Pond Wall and Team Mallard on the West Wall. If you notice, the Mallards were all resting on one leg, which is an energy saving position for them. Also, when you see any feathered creature sleep with their head tucked under their wing, that too is a resting pose to let their neck muscles relax from having to hold up their heads. Pretty cool!
OK y’all, have a wonderful post-Thanksgiving Saturday and remember to stay strong, stay safe, stay healthy, wear a mask, and always always BE KIND!! Elf Out!
Friday November 27 2020
It’s an aprés-Thanksgiving morning in Pondlandia which finds a HUGE gaggle of geese (we called them a flotilla/armada), the Home Team of Huey and Dewey, Team Mallard (two drakes and a hen), and Harry the Great Blue. We saw no divin’ ducks or Casper this morning but were ever so happy to have Harry visible. Initially, Harry was a bit hard to spot as he was well hidden on the bank; when he moved, we realized he wasn’t a grey rock!
It was a cloudy morning, this Friday; the air was heavy, keeping the temperatures moderate as we await some significant rainfall later on today. Big Solid and his Duffer buddies are already on the course hoping to get the full18 holes played before the deluge begins.
We hope that you have had a good holiday week so far; it’s certainly been a Thanksgiving of a different ilk with the COVID issue continuing to wreak havoc with our world. Yet, Pondlandia just keeps on keepin’ on. All of our feathered friends are, thankfully, oblivious to the trials and tribulations of the two-legged world. And, for THAT, we are supremely grateful. We are hopeful that these little videos offer a bit of a respite from elevated feelings of isolation, separation, and loss of contact.
So, let’s meet this weekend head on by staying safe, staying strong, staying healthy, and seeking out ways to DO EPIC. And always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
We hope you will forgive our indulgence of the photo today. It is Angela, our newest rescue from a hoarding situation. She’s a Yorkie of distinction, around 12 years old, blind in one eye, hardly any teeth resulting in an atrophied lower jaw. She is heartworm positive and being treated. She also has several mammary tumors that we will watch. Right now, though, the heartworm treatment takes priority. At her age, we will be very cautious about any invasive options. For all of her issues, she is utterly delightful, funny, quirky, and everso loving. Thanks for letting a Fur Mom brag.
“Pondlandia is Rockin’ Thanksgiving!"©
Thursday November 26 2020
HAPPY THANKSGIVING each and everyone from an active and glorious Pondlandia! When we made our first pass by the Pond this morning on our way to the Spookey Spikey Woods, it looked totally bereft of, well, all our friends. Howsomever, by the time we got back around and wandered out to the Gazebo to try to at least try to find Huey and Dewey, the Pond literally came to life! We had a Team Mallard gathering (albeit a small band of 3), then Casper flew in and landed on the North Levee. THEN we spotted some of the teeny little divin’ ducks near DuckFeather Pointe, but alas, no Harry.
In an elf-fort to keep our Thanksgiving message short and sweet, we went ahead and set our intentions with the resolve to mosey on home. Well, we changed our minds and thought we might be able to get a closer look at the little divin’ ducks from DuckFeather Pointe…so we headed that way. While we didn’t get film of them like we wished, we DID see Harry fly in and light close to the same spot at Casper. You can see that Harry appears to be stalking Casper…forward steps by Harry were met by equally forward steps away by Casper.
When we stopped to greet some new neighbors, we missed the actual brief but loud spat that drove Casper away. So much for bein’ peaceful and sweet.
So we end with our last Thankful, though we try to find something every single day to be thankful for….our last Thankful is for our wonderful Pondlandian neighbors. People care about each other but aren’t invasive or nosy. But when someone is in need, folks just pitch in and care. We love that and appreciate everyone’s tenderness toward each other. With that, we say stay safe, stay strong, stay healthy, wear a mask, and always always BE KIND!! Elf Out!
“Falling Leaves, Falling Rain, Falling Temps…The Perfect Fall Day in Pondlandia"©
Wednesday November 25 2020
There weren’t too many ‘feathered folks’ out in the rain this morning but we DID get some up close and personal time with the Home Team of Huey and Dewey. They are not fazed one iota with this delightfully rainy, dreary, and blowy day! One might not think that the words and actuality of dreary and delightful pair well, but OH do they ever!! We guess that’s why they call it Fall! Everything that has burst from the ground in the spring, providing us with long dormant color, produce from our gardens, and the warmth of the sun…all of these things fall away. The leaves share their own color and fall, we get an abundance of storminess with falling rains, and temperatures fall from the 90’s slowly into the 40’s and lower as Fall advances to winter.
We in the South love Fall because it gives us such a respite from our brutal summers yet rarely, rarely buries us in unending and ‘unmelting’ snow. In fact, this is the time of year when Big Solid and his Duffer friends play their most productive golf…productive being up for discussion.
We found Harry all huddled up on DuckFeather Pointe, always an eye out for a fish to snag for breakfast. We were also thankful that he did not fly away when we got pretty close to film and take a still photo. We told him we’d been missing him and would appreciate his continuing presence in our little Pondlandian world. We are pretty sure he nodded.
So, as we chop, dice, shred, mix, process, slice, roll, and otherwise activate the Elf in the Kitchen to prepare our Thanksgiving vegan feast, we wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. If you are missing your family by choice (Covid Prevention 101) or by circumstance, focus on our intentions to help keep your mind in a positive space. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay strong, and, yes, always always BE KIND. Elf Out!
“Not a Turkey to be Found in Pondlandia"©
Tuesday November 24 2020
When we first happened on Pondlandia this chilly, sunny, and very crispy morning, there were absolutely NO Pondlandian creatures to be seen. Even looking in all the visible nooks and crannies in which they sometimes forage! We were, to say the least, alarmed…especially since Huey and Dewey are ALWAYS present. We had seen Casper fly to the Pond but were, finally, barely able to spot him amongst the overgrowth along the South Bank. It wasn’t until we walked out onto the Gazebo and peered down the South Bank that we spotted Huey and Dewey! Whew!! Casper was easy to spot as he was standing sorta out from the bank but the other two we buried up against the bushes before finally coming out a bit.
Then we spotted a couple of diving ducks and another larger duck beyond even our telephoto range. We did not see Harry at all, even up in the Cypress Sisters. It seems he must be visitin’ his family elsewhere.
Our venture out to the tip end of DuckFeather Pointe actually turned out better on film than we thought…we were shooting practically into the sun so the glare obscured what we could see. Hope you get a chance to notice the reflection (wriggly and snaky) of the jet contrail that was overhead. Sometimes, it’s those little things that bring a smile to your face. And that IS our ‘Thankful’ for this Tuesday…learning to take joy in the little surprises that come our way.
So, we hope this Tuesday finds you having a good week so far and anticipating a pleasant, albeit different, Thanksgiving. Maybe this ‘isolated’ and ‘socially distant’ holiday will provide us with an abundance of ‘Thankfuls’ NEXT year!! ’Til we meet tomorrow, stay safe, stay healthy, stay strong and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
“To Pondlandia and Beyond!"©
Monday November 23 2020
Welcome to Thanksgiving Week in Pondlandia! And we seem to have gotten off to a pretty good start. We found Harry hunkered down in the Northeast end of the Pond; we wanted to stay a while to observe and see if he caught a fish, but that was not to be. There were a multitude of Geese on the North Levee as well, a place they seem to have honed in on these past few days. Huey and Dewey were also in the vicinity but we waited until we got around to the West side of the Pond to get some good footage of them. AND! We also had three diving ducks in the Pond today! Two little teeny ones that stayed in close proximity to each other and one loner who seemed to be comfortable isolating himself. We thought he went under while we were filming Huey and Dewey but later found him in a totally different location. They were all three too far out to get a good film or still photo to see their markings.
We did make it out to the middle of DuckFeather Pointe to get behind one of the Cypress Sisters and film without having the super bright sun both in the sky and reflected in the water.
As we enter this holiday week, our Thankful for today is having the time and energy to do a lot of fun things. We are retired (from the BEST WORK EVER!) and really do enjoy spending our time doing fun stuffs and cooking (though we think that fun as well). So, Happy Monday this 23rd day of November. We hope you remain strong, safe, and healthy…and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
“From Pondlandia to You…HAPPY THANKSGIVING!"©
Sunday November 22 2020
Well, well, well…we sighted some deer on this morning’s Pondlandian romp! It’s been a long time since we’ve seen them active in the Spookey Spikey Woods! They are hard to see initially, but when they move and swish those white tails, you know exactly where they are.
It’s a good thing too, because we certainly had minimum investment from our other feathered friends! ONE Mallard? Seriously? No Harry! Casper was spotted flying away before we even got close. We are putting all the blame on the Geese…as lovely as they are as well as smart, they do intimidate other of the waterfowl and shore birds. So, surely they’ll tire of a smaller venue and food supply soon and the window opportunity will open for the ‘Gang of Pondlandia’, gang being a good group of friends.
So, our Thankful for today is having the time to stop and ‘do Pondlandia’, knit beanies (The Elf’s Magic Beanie), and listen to some great books. We are most avid audiophiles, so we can knit or cook or garden, and still be ‘readin’!
We hope this time of family (or virtual family as the case may be) and food and thankfulness finds you feeling the warmth of the season (and we don’t mean fever) and the blessings of friends. Stay safe, stay strong, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
“On the Pondlandian Waterfront"©
Saturday November 21 2020
Another very quiet morning here in Pondlandia; no Team Mallard, No Casper, No Divin’ Ducks, No Little Green Herons…boo hoo!! BUT, we did have Harry once again on his favorite spot at the tip end of DuckFeather Pointe. We tried to sneak up on him a bit more to get an ‘up close and personal’ picture, but at the last minute, we stepped on a twig and spooked him over to the Levee. The Home Team of Huey and Dewey also stayed pretty close to the North Levee and Pond Wall.
We tried to film the Geese out in the Pond but the glare of the sun was not helpful at all…even when we stood behind our Refuge Tree.
Such is the way of this Saturday…quiet and beautiful. We hope everyone has a wonderful day as Thanksgiving week begins tomorrow. Our Thankful for today is Big Solid…we are thankful to have such a special man in our lives. He is an animal lover, passionate vegan, former and forever MS State Bulldog, Dad of two great kids and grandkids, smart beyond words, and golfer of dubious distinction.
So, stay safe, stay healthy, stay strong, wear a mask and always always BE KIND!! Elf Out!
“Another Friday, Another Glorious Pondlandian Day!"©
Friday November 20 2020
There was a mixed bag of actions today…when we first approached Pondlandia, we thought we spotted Harry all hunkered down in the curve of the South Bank. But, the closer we ‘snuck’, the more doubt crept in and we thought, ‘well, that may just be a plastic bag’. As we got a bit closer, all of a sudden Big Solid yelled out “to your right! In the sky!” That’s when we spotted Casper conducting a fly-by; after circling the Pond once, he apparently saw nothing that piqued his fancy, so he flew elsewhere. We returned to ‘the plastic bag’ which did indeed turn out to be Harry. He must have been in a shy frame of mind this morning to pretend to be so small…he usually struts and looks regal.
As we watched Huey and Dewey paddle away toward the northeast corner of the Pond, Harry took off for a likewise spin around the pond before lighting in the upper branches of one of the Cypress Sisters. He was so obscured, it was really hard to find him. If you look really close in the top middle of the video, you may be able to spot him. We wanted to get closer but soon realized that we’d be IN the Pond if we tried.
The Geese grew closer to the South Bank and eventually found their way to shore. We once again found shade behind our Tree of Shade so we could film without having the sun directly in our eyes. In the meantime, Harry took off for the South side of the Pond; you may be able to spot him at the base of the Pampas grass.
And so goes this lovely Friday…our Thankful for today is Mikey Tyson, our rescue chihuahua. He’s been with us almost a year and only recently has begun to blossom into a sweet, lively, and adorable little boy. He still growls at Big Solid after 5 pm everyday but does so with a wagging tail. Go figure.
Y’all too have a great Friday. We are all enduring unprecedented times; we hope we weather this with the least negative impact and the most positive learning experience of how to cope. Until tomorrow, stay safe, healthy, strong and do so wearing a mask. And always alway, BE KIND. Elf Out!
Good Thursday y’all. Seems like the holidays can really do a number on you emotionally as we look back over the year and think of days gone by. So, our last video is just that…we remember Louise, the Chinese Crested Duck. She was a beauty and the perfect foil for Huey and Dewey. The Cypress trees were such a magnificent burnished gold—gosh all we can say is, enjoy. We will make Louise and her memory our ‘thankful’ for today. This isn’t the final video we have of her; we’ll save that one for a later day. This last little clip was made year ago today, November 19, 2019.
TODAY…November 19 2020 brought us a sighting, albeit brief, of Casper on the Southwest corner of the Pond. We also had Huey and Dewey, Ruby and Daffy, and the little divin’ duck with the ‘pencil-thin’ mustache across his beak. As soon as he saw us, he paddled quickly away, so we didn’t get much of a connection.
Harry was conspicuous by his absence…not in the trees or anywhere to be seen, so our trip to DuckFeather Pointe was in vain. In fact, the sun was so bright, we just took sun shelter behind one the the cypress sisters and proceeded with our ‘intention settin’.
As Thanksgiving Week looms, let’s all redouble our efforts to share kindness and goodwill to those around us and to also complete at least one of our intentions. Stay safe, stay strong, stay healthy (wear a mask) and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
“Catching Up with the Pondlandian Sun"©
Wednesday November 18 2020
These past few days have been so gloriously sunny and clear; it’s a good thing because we’ve certainly been lacking in the feathered friends department. This time last year, we had several ducks that graced Pondlandia with their antics; lovely Louise was still with us. In fact, if we can find the Pondlandia we published on 11/19/2019, we’ll post it as a Throwback Thursday feature.
Today, our friends were in different, harder to film locations on the Pond…either too far away to capture well or obscured by vegetation along the banks. Usually, they are ‘tamer’ and stick closer to the Keep of the Corn. Not so of late. AND, when we DID get a glimpse of them, the sun was not only in our eyes from the sky but also an intense reflection in the sun. In fact, when Harry flew out of the Cypress tree, we had NO idea if we caught him flying or not. As it turned out, we were able to get a very brief glimpse of him. We still do not know where he landed.
We hope that this Wednesday brings you peace and joy as we continue to work hard to stay well and healthy. If you find yourself feeling a bit low, think of a way to do something nice for someone…it will most certainly lift you up. So til tomorrow, keeping our fingers crossed that we find a good Throwback Pondlandia to share, we’ll stay the course and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
“Pondlandian Still Waters Run Quiet and Deep"©
Tuesday November 17 2020
You know, we love the quiet times where there is nothing loud invading our ears, mind, and soul. Such was this morning…the sun was bright, so we could see all across the pond; the sky was clear, so nothing was obscured; the air was fresh, with no overwhelming aromas; the temperature was a crisp cool, just right for fall walkin’, and the taste of that first cup of coffee still lingered on our tongue….and there was no noise. No honking of geese, no quacking of ducks, no screeching of herons, no barking of dogs, no clamor of machinery, horns, engines. It was so quiet, we could almost hear the trees in the Spookey Spikey Woods sharing secrets and stories when they thought no one else could hear. We sure did appreciate that silence and took time to say thanks to Mother Earth.
We wish you a day filled with quiet time spent in grateful reflection, hope, and peace. So, have a lovely Tuesday. Stay healthy, stay strong, stay safe and always always, BE KIND! Elf Out!
“Pondlandian Conundrum is Solved, We HOPE!"©
Monday November 16 2020
Well, sometimes it seems that there is nothing easy anymore. Such is the way of making Pondlandia movies. Now Instagram won’t take video that is not in an MP4 format, so we had to learn how to convert…yada, yada. The fact of the matter is we DID learn and we WILL be able to post to Instagram!! So, another old adage bites the dust…you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.
This morning got us caught up in some different views and a bit of excitement. When we first approached the Pond on the way to the Spookey Spikey Woods, there was nary a soul to be seen. When we meandered on down to the Woods, we ran up on a gaggle of Geese in the vacant lots behind the North Levee. Why anyone would want a lot BEHIND a levee is a puzzlement indeed. We also found The Home Team of Huey and Dewey obscured by twigs and other things as they scoured the northeast bank for deliciousness underwater. We got so tickled watching them turn upside down and then paddle for all they were worth until they could grab a bite of whateveritwas. Then lo and behold, another skein of geese landed on the pond and there was honking and greetings all ‘round as the Levee Geese flew over to greet them.
We finally spotted Harry concealed up in one of the Six Cypress Sisters; he took off before we could shoot a still photo of him, landing on the tip of Duckfeather Pointe. From there is was just a matter of locating a good spot to film him without scaring him off. We also got a few good frames of the two little diving ducks as the moved with grace and fluid ease through the lovely morning mist. What a way to start the day!! So, we wish you a good Monday and a good start to your week. Today, we are thankful for our new little rescue Yorkie…she is so tiny, precious, and loving. We do indeed think she is an angel, so that’s what we named her. Remember to stay safe, stay strong, stay healthy (wear a mask) and always always BE KIND!! Elf Out!
“Around the Pond in 80 Seconds (or More)"©
Sunday November 15 2020
We are are keeping our fingers crossed that this video will make it to Instagram today. It was a cloudy and breezy morning when we wandered into Pondlandia…BUT, that Great White Egret named Casper/Opal sure did stand out. Casper has been away for a while, so we were most happy to see him on the Pointe. He didn’t linger but just flew from DuckFeather Pointe to the South Bank. We also had fair number of Geese are various points along the way.
Team Mallard was represented by only two members today, Ruby and Daffy. We could not see or locate The Home Team of Huey and Dewey anywhere!! Usually, they are the first to be spied because not only are they always there, their white feathers are very easy to spot. We looked all up and down the banks and it wasn’t until we saw the ripples coming from the north side of DuckFeather Pointe that we rested easy…that’s where they were.
As we were winding up or DuckFeather Pointe visit, we noticed the skies looking pretty threatening….and darned if we weren’t correct! So, we put an extra pep in our step to catch up with Big Solid and Mikey Tyson, which we did. As you can see, things got blowy but quite fun to see the leaves swirling around. And, you can also see that we made it home as the bottom fell out! Hello Dolly, our window watcher, graciously let us invade her space to film the rain.
Y’all have a safe, healthy, and peaceful Sunday…remembering always to BE KIND all along the way. Elf Out!
“Thank You for Being a Friend of Pondlandia!"©
Saturday November 14 2020
This whole week has been spectacular but we think today takes the cake! The skies, the temperature, the fall colors, Harry, Huey, Dewey, the little Buffle, and, well, even the Geese, combined to make this such absolutely gorgeous mornin’.
When we first got to the Pond, all e saw were the Home Team (Huey and Dewey) and a bunch of Geese. Then, we spotted the little divin’ duck thinking initially it was a lone Mallard. But, as he got closer, we noticed the dive and realized it wasn’t a Mallard. AND, we saw in a later video that he was indeed a Bufflehead!!
Then we saw Harry glide so gracefully across the Pond to his spot at the end of Duckfeather Pointe where he could not only soak up some sun but also do a little breakfast fishing.
Just a heads up that the Geese and Home Team did NOT go after the little Bufflehead…thankfully. The Geese gathered in the Northeast corner of the Pond and Huey and Dewey grazed along the South Bank.
All in all, such a great start to the day. Today, we are thankful for our health. With the virus so active now, we are grateful to be healthy and are committed to staying that way. We hope you are too. So, remember to stay safe, stay strong, stay healthy and WEAR A MASK!! Jus think of the mask as an act of kindness toward others as well as yourownself. Have a most special day…Elf Out!
“When Harry Comes Marchin’ Home"©
Friday November 13 2020
It’s days like this that make one appreciate fall, even though the days are shorter; winter is not far away. Given we live in Mississippi, our winters are relatively mild. Howsomever, summers are tend to be on the HOT and Oh so HUMID side…and THAT’S why fall is such a blessing to us all. The sky is rejuvenated and shines a breathtaking blue; the air has an energizing cool that is dry and refreshingly breathable; and IF we are really lucky, we get some really striking colors from the Great Trees of Pondlandia. Last year, we broke a record, well shattered, for a low temperature when it was 20º! And that was air temp and not wind chill!! Today was a lovely 48º…just right!
Our first glimpse of Pondlandia this morning brought us face to face, so to speak, with a goose butt. There were a few geese tho joined the regular crew and they decided to bottom feed for a bit. There must be something awfully good down there because almost all the ducks at some time or another, take a deep breath and go for it. We also spotted Huey and Dewey making their way along the banks with our Team Mallard couple, Ruby and Daffy, just hanging out in the Pond.
While we were filming from the South Bank and talking about not being able to see Harry, the Great Blue, lo and behold he popped up from the West Bank on the other side of DuckFeather Pointe and began to march toward his usual spot at the very tip end. We were reluctant to try to follow him too closely lest we frighten him away.
So we wish you a Happy Friday the 13th!! Goodness, let’s be careful out there! Please stay safe, strong, and healthy as we struggle to keep our mental and emotional equilibrium in these tough days. And, since it the National Day of Kindness, it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves to always, always BE KIND! Elf Out!
“The Pond of the Rising Sun"©
Thursday November 12 2020
Gosh! What a spectacular morning! It was about 48º when we commenced our walk, clear with crystal blue skies, and a bit of a north wind that escorted the humidity and above average temps away. We didn’t see Harry at first, as usual, but did spot Ruby and Daffy right off the bat. It was good to see them since they’ve obviously been on vacation for a few days. Our little divin’ duck was gone and Huey and Dewey were hanging out at the North Levee.
Harry did make his presence known along the South Bank when his beautiful head popped up from his fishin’ position. We were afraid to get too close, lest we scare him off. As we left the area, though, he was still in search of a fish for breakfast. If you look closely when Harry’s head is visible, he has these little long, thin feathers that almost look like hair coming from the back of his head. We wonder what purpose they serve…they sure do add a nice elegant touch.
So, here we are at Thursday already. We hope you’ve had a good week in spite of all the external stressors that are present. Today, we are thankful for our new little adopted rescue Yorkie, Thumbelina. She was found in a hoarding situation and has various issues. She’s an elderly gal but has all kinds of spark and personality. We will be her forever home. We’ll try to get a good short video of her soon so you can meet her as well. Until tomorrow, stay safe, stay healthy, stay strong, and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
“Because of You…Pondlandia Salutes Veterans"©
Wednesday November 11 2020
A special introduction from our Little Rememberin’ Tree:
Because of You…We are Free
Because of You…We can Speak and Write Our Minds
Because of You…We can Worship at a church of our choice
Because of You…We are Educated
Because of You…We Elect our Leadership
Because of You…We can Choose a Career
Because of You…We get Wages for our Work
Because of You…We can go to Movies, Concerts, Theatre
Because of You…We can buy a Home
Because of You…We can Marry the Person we Love and Raise a Family
Because of You…We can Disagree, Resolve, and Continue to Perfect Our Republic
Because of You…We ARE the Greatest Nation, even during times of turmoil
So, we thank all Veterans…those who gave all, those who served, and those who continue to serve. Pondlandians, all Pondlandians, human, feathered, winged, furred, and cellulose, Salute You.
“The Unbearable Lightness of Pondlandia"©
Tuesday November 10 2020
Well, it appears we are back to basics…the Home Team of Huey and Dewey and the enduring presence of Harry the Great Blue Heron. We could swear he has a Cloak of Invisibility! One minute he’s nowhere to be seen and the next, he’s in full view. We understand that Harry and an Intruder had a Heron Fight over Pondlandia a week or so ago. We are crushed that we missed it! From what we understand, it as like a Pterodactyl war with great squawks and screeches alternating between Harry’s “Stay Away From My Pond” and the Intruder’s “Get Out!”. Apparently Harry prevailed and continues as the reigning Heron.
Today, he was in almost the same spot as yesterday, so if nothing else, he is consistent in his favorite spots.
We were distressed to see some litter in the Pond, especially the plastic bottle. We are hopeful that the Human Pondlandians will be vigilant about throwing things away. It’s been a bit windy lately, so most likely an errant part of someone’s trash found its way to the Pond.
Otherwise, nothing of import or urgency to report. We have been totally remiss in our ‘things to be Thankful for’ we started a bit ago. So, we’ll gather our wits and begin anew. Today we are thankful for the colors of the season. It seems, as we said on the video, that between the end of October and the first two weeks of November, the colors have taken on a life of their own; a way to bid adieu to this year and prepare for the rest that renews over the next few months. A timeless process yet somehow offers a new shade or color, for sure a gift we are thankful for.
So, have a marvelous Tuesday—although it just seems like yesterday we were heading to vote. Stay strong, safe, healthy, and always always BE KIND!
“A Many Splendored Wing!“©
Monday November 9 2020
Today brought us some much needed familiar faces and a new one!! The Home Team never, well rarely, disappoints as they seem to be a constant. Today, they were even close enough to film without looking like little bitty dots across the Pond. AND, as we approached the Pond this morning, not seeing Harry
AGAIN…whose gorgeously appointed head and beak should pop up from the South Bank!! YES…Harry indeed.
We also had a newbie to join us today…we initially thought it to be a Scaup but the white line (we called it a mustache) appears on Ring-Neck ducks and not Scaups. We will have to try to get close with the binocs to verify the ‘mustache’. In the interim, we have named him Boston Blackie because of his ‘pencil-thin’ mustache. Most of you will not have a clue who Boston Blackie was…if you remember him, speak up!
We were also treated to Harry’ lovely and graceful fight from the South Bank to DuckFeather Pointe…his magnificent wingspan and ease of movement are always a reminder of Nature’s perfection. If you look closely, you’ll see that one of his wings just barely touches the surface of the Pond…but that’s enough to get a ripple going.
So, we are certainly off to a great start for the week. We hope you are as well. Please stay safe, strong, and healthy remembering to always BE KIND!! Elf Out!
"Sundays on the Pond with Harry“©
Sunday November 8 2020
Once again, Harry nearly fooled us into thinking he had flown the coop or Pond by being almost invisible along the North Levee. Had we not decided to walk across the levee instead along the road side, we’d have never been able to find him or get a good film of Huey and Dewey. As a matter of fact, we saw the lovely yellow ‘bloom’ on the small Elephant Ears that grow at the edge of the levee. Just another reason to look down…you never know what you might see. No other ducks or herons or wildlife were seen. ’Tis a puzzlement.
The morning was just beautiful with the promise of an almost Indian Summer atmosphere…warm temps and sunny skies. We tried to get a bit of the fall color and ‘crunckling’ leaves as the wind picked up a bit, so we hope you’re able to hear that.
As we start a whole new week today, we can renew our ‘elf-forts’ to DO EPIC and bring some harmony to our world. Stay safe, stay strong, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND!
Rest in Peace and Godspeed, Mr. Trebek.
“The Sky is Our Earth’s Beanie“©
Saturday November 7 2020
Since there were LITERALLY NO feathered friends to film or photograph this mornin’, we chose to focus our eyes on the sky. The clouds and extra special blue were just stunning…like a giant brush offering us a feathery look when the Pond did not. Seriously, aside from a gaggle of Geese that took off en masse when we first arrived this morning and did not have a chance to film, no one was within camera range. No Harry, no Team Mallard, no Team Buffle…nada.
What’s a Pondlandia Vlogger to do??
Well, we just tried to capture the beauty of today’s sky and the peaceful nature of Pondlandia without our animal buddies. Your Elf is an unabashed lover, wearer, and knitter of beanies…it dawned on us the other day that the sky is the ultimate beanie as it covers the earth!! Give us a lot of color combos to develop!
We also heard from some local Pondlandians that some predators that we don’t usually see in an urban setting have been spotted in the pond area…that could also be a reason that the population has been down over the past few days. Not because they’ve become prey but because the presence of predators can make them very skittish.
So, we will enjoy this glorious day; try to put some of our intentions into action and wait for tomorrow in hopes of returning ducks and waterfowl! Have a most glorious day and remember to stay safe, healthy, strong and always always BE KIND!
My goodness but things were slow today in Pondlandia. It may have been our timing was off as we were there a little earlier than normal. Today is Big Solid’s day to volunteer at IONA House Food Pantry, so your Elf and Mikey Tyson were on our own. The sun was super bright, the sky super clear, and the temperature super awesomely cool but not too!
Nonetheless, such a paucity of action and feathered friends has not been seen in a while. No Team Buffle, One Team Mallard. The Home Team of Huey and Dewey had positioned themselves across the Pond to the extent we could barely see them as did Harry. My goodness…maybe the weekend has already started for them and they are in a full relax and get away from it all mood!
So, this will be short and sweet. We hope you all have a great weekend and are able to stay sane, healthy, safe and strong in all the STUFF that is happening around us. Remember the practice at least one intention a day; doing something positive radiates through your whole day. See you tomorrow when we are pretty sure there will be more Pondlandian action! Or not…Elf Out!
“The Pond of the Rising Sun“©
Thursday November 5 2020
Y’all!! The sunrise over the Territory of Pondlandia was so lovely this morning, we could NOT help but share it. The colors went from the subtle ‘pinkish hues’ (remember Seinfeld?) to brilliant fuchsias and yellows! Eta it too far away yet to impact our sunrise but something surely did. Anywho, it was lovely and as always, here one minute and gone the next.
The ‘feather-ship’ at the Pond was really small today. Just the Home Team of Huey and Dewey, Daffy and Ruby representing Team Mallard, Harry the Great Blue Heron holding down DuckFeather Pointe, and Team Buffle way out in the pond too far our for the camera to capture well enough to share. Mayhaps as they grow more accustomed to the Pond and comfortable with the surroundings, they will ease on closer for us to enjoy. We did notice a plethora of white feathers EVERYWHERE! Huey and Dewey are the main source of white feathers but they certainly didn’t look bald or featherless. They must have had a ‘plucking’ good time!
Harry was kinda hunkered down on the Pointe; it was a bit chilly but nothing out of the ordinary temperature wise. Guess he just needed to get his internal engines revved up for a big mornin’ of fishin’.
As this first week of November slides into the weekend, we wish everyone a magnificent Thursday. Make it a memorable day by fulfilling at least one or two of our intentions—when you do something nice or kind for someone else, it always makes your heart-light shine. So, stay safe, stay strong, stay healthy, and always, always BE KIND! Elf Out!
“Pondering the Pondlandian Population“©
Wednesday November 4 2020
Every day when we approach Pondlandia, we both anticipate who and what we will see while simultaneously tingling with opportunities for seeing the unpredictable. For instance, we pretty much know we will see the Home Team of Huey and Dewey every day…they are a singular constant of the pond in terms of feathered friends. We are never sure what they will be doing to pass the day…they may be driving off other ducks, bottom feeding on the West Bank, courting vigorously Ruby, or plucking errant feathers. When others, such as Team Mallard, new Team Buffle (the new Bufflehead arrivals), Harry, and Casper join in, we delight in their antics and escapades.
Today, we almost caught Casper as he was fishing on the West Bank but once he caught sight of us, he took off. Thankfully, we had the camera ready to roll and got the thrill of his flight. We did not notice Harry perched in one of the Cypress Sisters until he also took off as we approached. Again catching him in flight across to the North Levee.
Team Buffle is few numbers at this point but we enjoy them so much. Their beautiful black and white feathers coupled with their seeming joy when diving, are completely enchanting and we are eager to see if others join them as colder weather arrives over the next month or so.
And who knows what will show up along the way…we are expecting Scaups and Grebes any day now so our feathered tribes increased like Abou Ben Adhem. AND, if we really clap our hand and wish, some surprises will occur as well. Those Whistling Ducks from last year just took our breath, they were so beautiful!!
So we leave you today with good wishes for a good day; stay strong, stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND. Elf Out!
“Mist, Majesty, and Magical Light“©
Tuesday November 3 2020
It’s ‘Lection Day’ in the USA so everybody get out and vote. We are lucky to have the privilege, so use it! The Pondlandian day dawned in a multiplicity of shades of yellows, golds, greens, and bronzes. Mixed with the rapidly rising and moving mist across the Pond and the ‘ghost Buffleheads’ that drifted through it, we had a nearly perfect tableau of Mother Nature’s majesty.
The Home Team of Huey and Dewey intermingled with Team Mallard (we think it was Daffy and Ruby), along with quite a few Geese on the South Bank. The Keeper of the Corn had distributed breakfast earlier, so everyone was searching for those last little kernels. We didn’t see Harry initially but on our way over to DuckFeather Pointe in yet another fruitless attempt to get closer to the Buffles, we espied him on the North Levee. He did grace us, and we do mean grace, by taking flight from the levee and lighting in the Cypress tree right above us. We tried to get a decent still shot of him but did not quite have the shot we wanted.
So, let’s do EPIC on this day. Let’s practice our intentions and think of one thing to be thankful for as this month of Thanksgiving rolls on. Today, our ‘thankful’ is the opportunity to vote. What’s in your thankful today?
“Afternoon Delight and Mornin’ Becomes Electric-ish“©
Monday November 2 2020
We do have some footage to share with you from Sunday afternoon that shows that our usual ‘folks’ were out and about after taking a chilly morning off. It was such a gorgeous day, so on our afternoon stroll with Mike Tyson, we had the chance to capture an afternoon of featheredness.
This morning saw us once again seemingly with very few early birds. Guess the time change has everyone a bit befuddled. We could not find Harry anywhere until he was spotted in the blazing Cypress tree!! Oh the sun hitting those feathery leaves was just so EPIC!! The Buffle Heads were having a great time out close to DuckFeather Pointe but by the time we got within filmin’ distance, they make a duck-line out of good range. But, we did find some of Team Mallard on the West Pond all, one out in the pond. Harry let us get rather close as he adjusted some feathers and got into his fishing Zen. And, Huey and Dewey were perched on the North Pond Wall, having just waddled up the Duck Trail.
So, this First Monday erupted with glorious sunshine and color and made us again appreciate what a lovely little spot we have. In keeping with our daily thankfulness, we are thankful for our health. At 74, we still think we are 30 and feel no different…well, maybe a few more aches and pains but nothing worth writing home about.
Y’all have a great Monday and make this first week of November one of kind efforts and peaceful thoughts. VOTE TOMORROW!! ’Til then, stay safe, stay healthy, stay strong, and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
“Buffles, Bubbles, and Bright Shiny Sun"©
Sunday November 1 2020
THEY’RE BACK!! The Buffleheads, that is. And, YES, we always mistakenly call them 'Baffle Heads". We were delighted to see them as a Bufflehead flotilla in the wandering mist of the Pond this morning. They come in usually about this time and will, hopefully, winter with us until Mother Nature lets them know they can return home. They are striking ducks with unusual heads (google them); typically black and white. They are also quite shy, so we usually do not get up close and personal with them. They also do not partake of the daily ration of corn, so we’ll not be sneaking up on then on the South Bank.
It’s a good thing the Buffles arrived because we’d be bereft of anything to write about. The Home Team managed to stay at the North Levee, nibbling and scouring under water for something yummy. They finally did wind their way to their ‘Wall Path’. Dewey was taking his own sweet time before waddling on up, so we left him to his own devices.
Harry was on the levee earlier in the walk but by the time we got close enough to film him, he had flown off.
So here we are on November FIRST!! We have a whole month of setting intentions, getting geared up for the Holiday season even though many merchants have been plying Christmas for months now. With the approach of cooler weather, it’s time to heighten our awareness of safety and redouble our efforts to be understanding and kind. Have a great start to this month of Thanksgiving; try to think of one thing daily that you are thankful for. Ours for today: We are so thankful for the Joy that Pondlandia shares with us every day.
What’s yours? Elf Out!
Saturday October 31 2020
HAPPY HALLOWEEN from Pondlandia!! We did not have an abundance of activity this morning…the Home Team of Huey and Dewey were all the way across the Pond, snacking on underwater delicacies. Team Mallard was just a pair in the middle of the Pond…it appears they were meditating, they were so still. The mist itself seemed alive as it slowly drifted across the very still and very warm water.
We spotted Harry way up in one of the Six Cypress Sisters. We hope you can see him ok as we had to really engage the telephoto lens to the max. He flew off, squawking and screeching as we walked closer to Duckfeather Pointe but we never saw where he wound up. Notice how the Pond is such a great mirror of the trees woods. It’s like you get double color!!
It occurred to us that our feathered friends nor present MAY be preparing their costumes for tonight! We’ll try to get a rare evening look at the Spookey Spikey Woods of North Pondlandia to see if any magical beings are noticeable. OR…WAIT!! What IF the most marvelous Bodock trees with their spindly, twisted, and ever so enchanting limbs and trunks….what IF they come to LIFE for this one night only!! With the rare full Blue Moon tonight, all sorts of mystical things may happen.
Back in the day, what was your favorite costume or who was your favorite character to ‘be’? Your Elf was Hopalong Cassidy since a Tarzan costume was out of the question. So, have a delightful Halloween/Samhain. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay strong, and always, always, BE KIND!! Elf Out!
“All We Need is Just a Little Pondlandia”©
Friday October 30 2020
All due respect to ‘Guns ‘ Roses’ for our title today. We also need Patience!
First off, we apologize for the windy interference this morning. The North Wind was bound and determined to find its way to the microphone area. And since we were solo today with Mike Tyson, we filmed with one hand. This is Big Solid’s day to help out at the IONA House food pantry where no doubt many folks are lined up for the food distribution. It’s tough times out there.
We had a nice assortment of feathered friends this morning…Geese, Team Mallard, the Home Team, and the ‘Hide-in-Plain-Sight’ Harry. This is a bit of a chill for us following the daylong build-up of heat and humidity preceding Zeta…and we’ll take it. The clouds will slowly dissipate and we’ll be happy to see sunshine and moderating temperatures over the next few days. One of the lovely things about living in the Deep South is the weather…we rarely have intense cold and can practice t-shirt wearin’ almost all the time.
Pondlandia is in full Fall mode with leaves that are taking on more and more color, grasses whose seeds are providing food for the waterfowl, and the magnificent oaks whose acorns are enjoyed by the urban deer. Hopefully, when the sun returns we can see the brilliance of the cypress trees…they just take our breath.
So, off we go to another weekend, including Halloween/Samhain (yes, we watch Outlander). Please remember to stay safe, stay healthy, stay strong and always, always BE KIND!! Elf Out!
“Zeta is Gone with the Winds, Thankfully”©
Thursday October 29 2020
It was a cloudy, blowy morning when we wandered on down to Pondlandia but as we were ‘awanderin’, the skies began to clear up, sunshine peppered the pond and earth. AND!! AND!! Save for Team Mallard, everyone was on hand. Casper/Opal was at the South Bank but the school bus scared him skyward for a couple of turns around the Pond before lighting on the West Bank. We sure love to watch them coast on the air and touch down almost tenderly to the earth. If you look closely at the very start of this video, you’ll see Harry on the levee. We didn’t even see him at first because we were watching Casper/Opal…but he’s there almost straight down from Casper.
The Home Team was out in the Pond itself…the water is most likely much warmer than the air and there were a LOT of Geese the sorta took over their feeding area. The fire hydrant is still running (being flushed), so a few Geese were playing in the water there. We don’t know how long water is allowed to run before the lines are fully flushed out.
Our last stop, of course, was DuckFeather Pointe and we were ever so happy to see Harry, the Great Blue Heron. He’s been conspicuously absent for the past few mornings (though he has been around in the afternoons), so it was nice to have him back where he belongs!
So, we wish all folks along the LA, MS, AL, and FL coasts who were impacted by Zeta a speedy recovery from damages. Hopefully, we have seen the last of named storms this year. Though we DO have November to deal with, storms this late are rare. In any event, y’all have a good Thursday…remember to stay safe, stay healthy, stay strong, and always always BE KIND. As this Covid19 situation rages on, we need kindness and compassion more than ever. Elf Out!
“Move Out The Way, Zeta! It’s KATE’S Day!"©
Wednesday October 28 2020
Ok, you wonder…what on earth are we talking about? Well, in a roundabout way, this is the kernel that evolved into Pondlandia and it’s high time credit goes to where credit is due. So, here we go. Kate is Kate Sedgwick, a fictional college coed and main character in the book Bright Side written by Kim Holden. It is a moving ‘coming of age’ story of a young woman who let’s nothing defeat her. A tough childhood, loss of loved ones, and a yearning to live and learn are but a few of the ingredients in Kate’s story as she leaves her adopted family to enroll at a college in Minnesota. Her motto, yep, you guessed it…”DO EPIC”. Her favorite thing was ‘sunset showtime’, so we will include a couple of our favorite ‘showtime’ pictures from the Deep South (thanks Mari Foster for your beautiful lake sunset contribution shown on the cover).
We were relieved today to be spared the brunt of Zeta, receiving some rain that we needed but not the awful weather that some parts of the Gulf Coast will see.
We had a nice showing of Team Mallard this cloudy, wet morning…not the usual show of Mallard Force but more than yesterday. But we could NOT see Huey and Dewey anywhere!! They are usually so easy to spot against the Pondlandia back drop, with those hefty, waddly white bodies. We looked around the banks where they like to scour the dirt at the edge. Nope. On the Pondwall. Nope. On Duckfeather Pointe. Nope. We were startin’ to get worried since it was also time for the Keeper of the Corn to dole out some breakfast.
As we slowly, slowly made our way to DF Pointe, searching all along the banks and across the Pond, we FINALLY saw them up to their beaks in the grass and dirt at the entrance to the Pointe! We were so relieved!! Funny how attached you get to ‘even the least of these’.
So, we wish you a Happy Kate Day and celebrate the joy of Doing Epic. Remember to stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND, even though these times often lead us in another direction. We closed out today with the last part of our favorite poem by Robert Frost. It just seemed to fit Kate, Kim, and multitudes of others.
“Cones to the Left of Us; Cones to the Right of Us"©
Tuesday October 27 2020
Into the Valley of Cones wavered Pondlandia.
It’s looking better today but we are still under Alert Days (weather-wise) through Thursday. Nevertheless, activities in Pondlandia never cease, though some days are ‘more busy’ than others, depending on the creatures, feather and fur, that share their lives with us. Today, and a really foggy one at that, found us pretty much overrun with Canada Geese. It was quite obvious that they were enthralled with the ‘Flushing of the Fire Hydrant’ and were busily engaged in scouring the active puddle for roots, minerals in the mud, worms, submerged plants/seeds…who knows. The Home Team of Huey and Dewey initially thought we were the Keeper of the Corn and came waddling our way….only to be disappointed to see we were not. One lone Team Mallard representative was noted among the crowd…a handsome drake.
As we drew closer to DuckFeather Pointe, we saw a pair of Mallards on the East Pond Wall…it was Daffy and Ruby!! We were ever so happy to see them and felt relieved they were together. It sure made setting our intentions a lot easier since we wouldn’t be worried about them
So, hope everyone has a lovely, albeit stormy, wet, cold, snowy (in the midwest), cloudy, foggy, smoky (if you are outwest) day. Remember to stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND! Just a quick reminder that tomorrow is a very special Pondlandia, so don’t miss it. Elf Out!
“It's October Farewell Week in Pondlandia”©
Monday October 26 2020
It’s 6:50 in the morning and it’s STILL DARK!! How can we film Pondlandia in the dark? We’ll sit tight and fidget at home until we can…and we are starting off our last week of October.
Well, as we approached Pondlandia well after daylight, we saw a fairly large passel of Mallards taking flight. Too far away to film, so we missed our morning Team Mallard visit. Nonetheless, the Home Team was more than happy to visit with us and lend us a Monday greeting.
We did not see Harry until we’d started to wend our way home. We spotted what we THOUGHT was him but it took a good 2 or 3 minutes to actually confirm him—that’s how well he was camouflaged. Even then, we had to boost the focus up to almost the limit to catch him, so if the video looks a bit degraded, that’s why.
So another Monday is in the Pondlandian books…next Monday will be November 2! First Monday…gosh, it seems we JUST finished our first Monday of October! We’ll update you on Zeta’s impact, if any, tomorrow. Y’all take care, stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
“You have GOT to be Kidding Pondlandia!”©
Sunday October 25 2020
First up this morning, before even daylight, we get that familiar Weather Channel ding…only to see where Tropical Storm Zeta had formed and would make its way to the lush warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico where it would strengthen. ARE YOU SERIOUS!! The good news is that it will also run into factors that will cause that strength to ebb (cooler waters and wind shear) before landfall. Be that as it may, we in Mississippi are in the ‘cone’ at present as is some of the same land that has been brutalized by storms this year. Gosh, between the storms and the Western fires, it would appear that Mother Nature is telling us to PAY ATTENTION the Her! FIX things!!
We had a bit of a misstep this morning on our first video; we started off ok and then after the first few seconds, it went black. Obviously the camera-elf did something uncinematic. Actually, you didn’t miss a whole lot…both teams were pretty far out in the Pond and you could only see their ‘wake’. They’d already left the South Bank’s feeding station and were making a duck-line out to the levee to set up plucking and cleaning activities. They take their Sunday day of rest with significant attention; and, now, so shall we. We hope this Sunday portends a lovely week ahead; we do have a special Pondlandia for Wednesday. In the meantime, stay healthy, stay well, and always always BE KIND!! Elf Out!
“Once Upon a Morning Dreary”©
Saturday October 24 2020
It’s a damp, cloudy, and cool Pondlandian fall morning. A cool front moved through last night to chase out some of summer’s last efforts at heat and humidity, yes! It’s a day to make a nice warming soup and some iron skillet cornbread. But FIRST, it’s time for our adventures with Team Mallard, the Home Team and whomever else might show up to entertain us with their shenanigans.
Just watching the Pond’s mist moving swiftly across the warmer waters to greet and mesh into the fog was enough to make one appreciate the wonder of changing seasons. Methinks even the smiles on the carved pumpkins got even broader. Team Mallard and the Home Team were happy to have a goose-free corn feast; do take note of the beaks of Huey and Dewey! They have obviously been digging in the mud along the banks for their little mouths were filthy!! Sure hope it was worth the effort. We don’t see the Mallards practice mud digging…they seem to be more ‘refined’.
We did spot Harry over on DuckFeather Pointe, almost invisible in the misty fog…it was actually his movements that caught our eye. We were able to film him pretty close as he was totally engaged in his practice of stealth fishing. We were careful not to frighten him off with our intention setting and lowered our volume a bit.
And so goes this Saturday, the penultimate Saturday of October. We hope that wherever you are, you have a safe, healthy and pleasant day. Remember to alway always BE KIND; we can’t wait to talk with you again tomorrow…Elf Out!
Friday October 23 2020
What an absolutely perfect morning….to go rescue a teeny kitten from a drain at a nearby Lowe’s. Our good neighbors called our attention to it (now known as a ‘he’) and provided food/water until we could get to him. So, Pondlandia was a bit rushed this morning. Nevertheless, we did have a nice visit with Team Mallard and the Home Team. There was a gaggle of geese on the South Bank (otherwise known as the Cafeteria) but they’d long flown off by the time we got there. As a matter of fact, several of the Mallards few away as we were filming, leaving a lone drake to represent the Team. Just LOOK at the color in this first video!! WOW!
Once again, Harry gave us the slip and was found on the West Bank. And, he was spooked as we got near and wound up on the North Levee. He’s hard to see in the video as he was a bit far away.
So, we didn’t linger as we had a kitten to see about; as you can see, he was not so happy to be in a crate. That being said, when we pulled him from the drain, he settled down quickly and started purring like crazy! He’ll be vetted and neutered as we help find him a home. He sure is a cute thing!!
So, as you anticipate the weekend, remember to stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
“Look! Up in the Sky!”©
Thursday October 22 2020
It’s Weekend Eve Eve!! Well, we got off to a pretty slow start…even though we were up and at ‘em before the sun topped the trees and the streetlights were still on. Since this is a Big Solid Golfin’ Day, we ‘short-walked’, meaning we did not go the whole Spookey Spikey Woods route. As we strolled down the hill to th Pond, we noticed right off that there was like, NOTHING, going on. Huey and Dewey were paddling in the Pond and rather pathetic show of two Team Mallard (Daffy and Ruby), were all that were in view. So, when handed lemons, you make lemonade…so we did; the idea of ‘duck-ade’ being rather repulsive.
Again, as we were filming and lamenting an absent-yet-again Harry, he flew out of one of the Six Cypress Sisters and leisurely wafted over to the North Levee. We made a elf-line over to DuckFeather Pointe and were able to see His Heron Highness doing what he loves…looking regal and fishing. There was little to do but admire him, set our intentions for this Thursday, and move along.
Such is the Way of Pondlandia and we are most joyful to be a part of it…we hope you are as well. You know, fall is a time of looking back and recalling memories of past years. What are your favorite memories? How did you celebrate this time of year? Did you harvest fall crops? Can food for the rest of the year? Make your kid’s Halloween costumes? However you recall, we hope your day goes well today and that you stay healthy, safe and remember to always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
“Pondlandia—A Box of Chocolates”©
Wednesday October 21 2020
Man Oh Man…did this morning every turn around on us! When we arrived at the Pond, the action was like….none! The Home Team and Two Team Mallard. Nothing else moved, waddled, paddled, flew, quacked, or otherwise made themselves known. We scoured the pond area for any sign of Harry as we had not seen him in a few days; and he has been such a solid fixture. No Harry to be found. We walked to North Pondlandia and past the Spookey Spikey Woods, the North Levee, the easten bank where he sometimes likes to fish. Nothing.
So we pretty much gave up and came back around to at least acknowledge the ‘folks’ on hand and to set our intentions. And then….and then…as we were filming and whining about our concerns over MIA Harry, a little movement caught our little elf eye. YES!! There he was just walking regally out to the tip of DuckFeather Point!! YAY!
So, it seems that sometimes when you have a tendency to look on the negative side of things, you find a burst of sunshine that obliterates that dark. Notice the brilliant color of DuckFeather Pointe and how it just lights up the whole screen. Take note of the simple joys and bask in them. Just seeing Harry put a whole new spin on the day for us and we hope for you.
So, now let’s take that light and share it. Stay well, stay safe, and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
“In Pondlandia, Gold Stays....”©
Tuesday October 20 2020
Welcome to the most misunderstood day of the week. Tuesday…it really has little going for it in the way of excitement. It’s not the beginning of the week, it’s not the downhill side of the week…it’s just plain ole Tuesday. So, we’ll just make our own entertainment and fun anyway!
The touch of fog at the top of the trees today sure did add a touch of magic to the Pond. We had almost a dozen Team Mallard ‘folks’ waiting for us and appeared to be most eager for some attention in the form of CORN. FEED ME!! What we were unaware of at the time was that the Keeper of the Corn had already been there and doled out their daily ration. They were trying to bamboozle me into an additional ration…’wascally’ ducks! If you look closely at the first half of today’s Chronicle, you’ll notice a couple of things. First, two hens got in a ‘tiff’ and went at it beak to beak. And second, one of the Home Team (I think Dewey) just decided to take a quick nap while standing on one foot, something ducks often do to conserve energy. He also has his neck crooked under a wing, which is another conservation move to relax the muscles that hold the neck upright all the time. See all the things you can learn from Pondlandia!
Still not a peep, squawk, screech, or otherwise audible notification from Harry, Casper, Opal, and Patrick/Patricia. Our patience is, however, not at all thin and we can wait them out.
Finally, the gradual changing of color is taking place and we especially noted the Cypress leaves today. As the days grow shorter, the cypress feathery leaves begin the take on a bronze color that will no doubt leave you breathless in a few short weeks.
So, y’all have a most special Tuesday by working our intentions, staying safe and healthy, and by all means BEING KIND! Elf Out!
“Pondlandia—A Many Splendored Thing”©
Monday October 19 2020
Probaby nine out of ten of you reading this will not identify today’s title as a play on a famous song from an old tear-jerker of a movie. I watched it with my little Mama a bazillion years ago (1955) and we both squalled like babies. She because of the sad story and me because she was crying, so I should as well. But I digress….
We had quite the webbed feet gathering this morning…Team Mallard, the Home Team, and a whole bunch of Team Gooses. The Geese were totally unfazed by the presence of humans; I’m sure I could have touched one but I’m not totally dumb. One hiss is all I need to back off! Not so with the other two teams, though Huey and Dewey aren’t as skittish as the Mallards.
Other than these feathered friends, there were no others to be found. Harry, Casper and Opal, Patrick and Patricia—all absent today. Maybe the influx of geese deterred them from a morning visit; we’ll check this afternoon. Nonetheless, as always, Pondlandia does not disappoint. The absence of some players does not detract from the peacefulness of the Pond, the majesty of the Great Trees of Pondlandia, the light sweater temperature, and the beauty of the blue and cloudless sky. Indeed a Many Splendored Thing.
So, have a grand start to your week; stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
“A Pondlandian Sampler + Lagniappe!”©
Sunday October 18 2020
Throw together some Mallards, Stir in some Domestic Whites, Add a smidgeon of Great Blue Heron with a pinch of the Six Cypress Sisters, and top with a generous helping of the Spookey Spikey Woods of North Pondlandia..but wait, we’re not done. All Louisianans know the value of Lagniappe, so we had to add that at the end. And VOILA!! The perfect Pondlandian sampler.
What a really nice start to our day. Nobody was in a place where they usually are…guess they wanted a change of pace on this quiet and lovely Sunday morning. Instead of the South Bank, both ‘Teams’ were found paddling out in the middle of the Pond, leaving little bitty wakes behind them…looks like even Ruby was there with Huey and Dewey not too far behind. Instead of his usual haunts of the South Bank or DuckFeather Pointe, Harry was on the North Pond Wall. And we just had to crunch some of the fallen leaves as we took some footage of our wonderfully quirky Spookey Spikey Woods. As we had finished our film elf-fort, Harry took his “I’ve got me a fish to spear” look so we dropped everything to see if we could capture it. Not to be…maybe another time. Besides, we could not figure out how he’d be able to snag a fish when he was so far from the water.
Anyway, we had a lovely time, set our intentions and ambled on home; ready for whatever the day may bring. Hope you are having an equally great day being healthy, safe, and always always KIND. Elf Out!
“All Hands on Ducks, and Geese, and Herons”©
Saturday October 17 2020
It’s been a long time since we captured all of our Pondlandian creatures in one spot and one video!! Yet, everyone was concentrated in the south end of the Pond and under the Pondlandian Tree of Souls. Easy Peasy to say hello to all, to watch for a bit, and to listen as the acorns let go of their elevated spot in the Tree to land with a sharp small smack. No tellin’ how many ‘folks’ this Tree feeds from now through December.
It was hard to determine IF the Home Team had their sights set on Ruby today as they were not nearly as ‘invested’ in keeping her to themselves this morning as they were earlier in the week. We also did not notice open animosity among any of the feathered folks this morning. Mayhaps this chilly air had them preoccupied with eating and staying warm.
So we greet this lovely, albeit chilly, October Saturday. Crystal clear skies, breathably dry air, a sky full of sun and blue, and a whole day to do something nice for someone. Go for it! In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
“When It Herons, It Pours”©
Friday October 14 2020
What a great start to Friday!! We’ve been missing Harry the Great Blue Heron for a few days now and darned if he didn’t show up on the South Bank where the Keeper of the Corn usually distributes, well, corn for the Home Team and Team Mallard. We saw no Mallards on the South Bank and spied Huey and Dewey already in their spot on the North Pond Wall. Anway, we tried to get a bit closer to Harry but he took off before we could get a good shot of him. And, instead of going to his usual spot off the tip of DuckFeather Pointe, he lit on the North Pond Wall, close to Huey and Dewey.
THEN!! THEN!! Our little Elf eyes spied not one but TWO Great White Egrets making a landing as well on the North Pond Wall. We thought there was going to be a territory dispute for a bit, but they got far enough apart to be satisfied. Seeing both Opal and Casper land at the Pond at once was indeed a first! Again, we could not get close enough to film them well but hopefully, you can see them. What a treat.
And finally, as we were tryin’ to creep up on Opal and Casper, we noticed a WHOLE LINE-UP of Team Mallard!! on the West Pond Wall. They were hidden a bit by a bank but as we approached, they certainly became visible!! YAY! It appears that Ruby and Daffy have reunited as we did not see her isolated with Huey and Dewey. Tomorrow may bring a different story.
So, let’s start this beautiful weekend off with a commitment to kindness, wellness, and happiness. Be Safe! Elf Out!
“Ruby’s Back…and Guess Who’s Got Her?”©
Thursday October 15 2020
My goodness what a morning! We saw this quite nice sunrise with the clouds moving slowly toward the southeast (it takes us a while to ascertain directions)—we were ‘sunrise interrupted’ briefly but got back on track. It’s pickup day for the sanitation folks, so everyone was getting their cans in gear.
Then we got to Pondlandia Proper only to notice several cars/trucks parked along and on the common area. Enough to flush the ducks back to the Pond; but everyone needs a good roof so we do not begrudge the effort at all…well, at least not for long. Still no Harry today BUT…BUT!!
The Duck Drama is back! Remember last year when the Home Team of Huey and Dewey latched onto the little Mallard hen we named Ruby (she took her love to town) and kept her isolated from her ‘mate’ Daffy. That eventually resolved but GUESS WHAT!! It’s all started back up again…how funny and quirky are these birds! Just watch how the Home Team keeps her apart from Daffy and when either of them try to make a break for it…bingo, they cut her (or him) off like a champion cutting horse…er, duck. To be continued, we think.
We did not make it out to the tip of DuckFeather Pointe…nothing much to see without our Great Blue of Great White Egret. So, we hightailed it home behind Big Solid and Mikey Tyson. Along the way, we noticed a big ole Hawk in a most magnificent perch…he must have been able to see ‘for miles and miles and miles and miles’!
What a great way to start the day! We hope you enjoy and remember to stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
“The Mist-eries of Pondlandia”©
Wednesday October 14 2020
Good Wednesday Morning!! And what a beautiful morning it is!! We LOVE to see the mist rising and swirling slowly around Pondlandia. This morning, we have a bit of a different view of Team Mallard and the Home Team—when we got to the Pond, we noticed our feathered friends paddling lazily out in the middle…an unusual sight for this time of day. But, we also noticed a car parked on the Pond side of the road and suspect that was a bit of a deterrent to being ashore. So, we walked out on the Gazebo and shot the piece today.
AND, just so you know, we did not walk out on DuckFeather Pointe. There was no Harry to be seen and the grass was really really damp. So we opted out. Instead of a peaceful panorama of Pondlandia, you are presented with Mike Tyson’s display of ‘Lickety-Split’ toward a treat at the end of the walk.
Maybe tomorrow will bring us another full complement of our little wild menagerie. Until then, you know the drill…stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
“Sunrise Came Softly Through Pondlandia Today”©
Tuesday October 13 2020
And we are darn glad of it!! It’s a bit cooler and drier today than it has been in the past few days and we are also glad about that as well. Since Delta blew in with warmer, very moist and heavy air, and a layer of that heavy air in the form of clouds and mist, we have been waiting with great anticipation for the sun to return.
And with that return, we also have Harry, Team Mallard, the Home Team, Patrick, and a gaggle of Geese to greet us. The Pond is clearer and the autumn sun just shines a different light than any other. The tops of the trees are changing colors as the sun hits them first. It’s just a grand time of year. And, if predictions hold, another cool front will pass through in a day or so and bring us even cooler weather. Time to bust out the sweatshirts!
Harry was almost hard to spot as we found him in his new/usual haunt/perch in the eastern curve of the Pond. He is very well hidden among the water plants and the drooping leaves of the Cypress trees. The other friends were gathered at the Pondlandian Tree of Souls waiting for corn to be distributed. In the meantime, acorn covered ground will do.
So we begin this Tuesday…a most magnificent day. Remember to stay well, stay safe, and always always BE KIND!! Elf Out!
“Gray Skies are Gonna Clear UP!! Put on a Happy Beak!”
Saturday October 10 2020
FINALLY!! Not only did we have Harry present today, but also Casper! AND, they entertained us with an aerial display of territoriality. Casper was flushed from his position on the West Bank and took off across the Pond when all of a sudden, Harry came bursting off the levee in full “this is MY SPOT’ squawk. Casper finally gave up and flew off elsewhere and Harry resumed his levee perch.
In the meantime, Team Mallard and Home Team’s Huey and Dewey maintained their activity under the Pondlandia Tree of Souls…scouring the ground for the abundance of acorns that the ToS is now offering daily. No telling how many of Pondlandians creatures enjoy that bounty!!
Our walk out on DuckFeather Pointe proved to be fruitless in terms of creature sightings, but we knew that and went anyway. We always love the panorama of the Pond from the North Levee, across the Spooky Spikey Woods, all along the Eastern and Southern side to the South Bank and around the West Bank. The pond certainly is clearer today, though some algae remains. The rains Delta brought us indeed were refreshing. As we were departing today, we noticed the clouds beginning to break apart and some blue sky peaking through! After several days of cloudiness, this clearing is most appreciated.
So, we say Thanks to Columbus for his discovery of the New World and the 500+ year evolution of Pondlandia. Stay safe, stay healthy and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
“The Moving Delta Wreaks; and having Wreaked, Moves On”
Saturday October 10 2020
Well y’all, it could have been so much worse! We did luck out when Delta stayed just far enough west for us to miss that dreaded northeast quadrant…that’s not to say we did not get some weather and wind, but not nearly as bad as it could have been. We lost power sometime in the night, but didn’t even know it until the noise of its return woke us up. Mike Tyson, who is terrified of storms, stayed buried under the covers as close to his Mama as he could get. We actually drove by the Pond last night after having dinner with friends to check on things. It was pretty breezy then but we spotted Huey and Dewey in the Pond just paddlin’ away in the pitch dark…had it not been for the headlights of the car, we’d have never seen them. Spotted no one else.
So, we DID have Harry on the Pond today as well as some nice wind gusts, Team Mallard, and the Home Team. We tried in vain to keep our hand over the mic to block some of the wind but it was a losing battle. We especially had a hard time out on the Pointe!!
We also took some footage of the street in and out of our neighborhood to show you the leaf explosion on the ground! Poot Mike Tyson LOVES to mark fallen leaves but he had his work cut out for him today!
We wish everyone a pleasant Saturday, a safe Saturday, a healthy Saturday and an EPIC Saturday!! And always always, BE KIND! Elf Out!
“I Can Feel It—Delta’s in the Air Tonight”
Friday October 9 2020
Well, it could be a lot worse as we are on the far northeastern quadrant of Delta…that’s the good news. The bad news is that we, according to the latest weather news, will be under a nearly two day tornado watch. The rain amounts anticipated are yet to be estimated as it changes as does Delta. So, with apologies to Phil Collins and Genesis, yes, Delta’s in the air tonight. We will get some nasty winds overnight; tropical storm force. Since we live on a street with only one access in and out which is also surrounded by woods, we hope that trees do not fall across the road as well as across the power lines.
Our walk this morning is much like the past two days…only the Home Team and Team Mallard are present. And LOOK at Huey and Dewey’s beaks!! My goodness, what on earth have they been scrounging for!Our other buddies are again conspicuous by their absence…only slightly worried but there is a kernel of concern about where they might be. We will most likely revisit later today to see if anyone has shown up.
In the meantime, we wish everyone a safe Friday, especially those in the path of Delta. We will keep you posted and try to pull a Weather Channel video ala Jim Cantore if things intensify. Stay healthy and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
“Delta Dawn! What’s that Power You Have On!”
Thursday October 8 2020
Such a sunrise certainly befits the old saying—Red Sky at Morning, Sailors Take Warning. So, as this day progresses, as does Hurricane Delta, we shall heighten our alert senses and keep an eye to the weather. These are indeed the clouds of ‘unknowing’. How much strength will she regain, how much will she grow, and the biggie…where will she go? If she veers left, more toward western Louisiana/Texas, our weather will not be as bad; if she more to the east, we will most likely catch more of the northeast quadrant (and most dangerous) part of the storm.
Not much activity in Pondlandia this morning…ducks under the Pondlandian Tree of Souls. No Harry, no Patrick, no Casper yet again. Big Solid said we’d scared him off by trying to get too up close and personal. We’ll see.
Nevertheless, we shall keep watch over our friends during the next few days to make sure, in the event of bad weather, they are safe and sound. That includes our human friends as well. Y’all stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
“A Pondlandian Hump Day”
Wednesday October 6 2020
You know, as we watch Hurricane Delta move slowly toward another landfall closer to us, we are amazed at the power and intensity that Mother Nature can generate. Hopefully, this storm will de-intensify over the Yucatan and not quite regain the Category Four status before hitting the our own coastline and possibly the Land Mass Between New Orleans and Mobile—otherwise known as Mississippi.
If this morning’s Pondlandia is any indication, we’ll be just fine…though we all know that can change. Today’s utter peacefulness can most certainly dissolve into stormy and dangerous weather, but we will keep our hopes up that all we get is some much needed rain.
Along the South Bank this morning, all we found we two Team Mallard members, a drake and a hen, busily scouring the ground for any leftover corn. The remaining Team Mallard (12 strong) and the Home Team of Huey and Dewey were settled along the Pond Wall at the North Levee, having eaten, bathed, plucked, and settled down for a morning nap. No Harry, no Patrick, no Casper were seen at all.
We close today with a short clip at the end of our little Pondlandian adventure of a close encounter of the ‘Cervidea’ kind—otherwise known as White-tailed Deer. The urban deer population is growing as their habitat gives way to development…not always progress. Thankfully, we have some nice woods locally so we can appreciate these beautiful creatures.
Y’all have a most special Wednesday as the week begins it’s slide into the weekend. Stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
“Once More into the Breach named Delta”
Tuesday October 6 2020
This has been a most busy season for the development of tropical systems in our area (meaning the Gulf of Mexico). And just when we thought things had settled with the advent of Fall and cooler weather, we have another potentially major hurricane roiling towards the coastal states. We will be vigilant and keep an eye on the developments. Being inland helps but we also know that the heavy rains an wreak havoc as well.
That being said, the denizens of Pondlandia were few and far between this morning. In fact, DuckFeather Pointe was as vacant as we’ve ever seen it…not a Heron to be seen. Not in the trees, not on the Pointe, not on the levee! So, we have a short film today but we did subsidize it a bit with Mikey Tyson’s version of Lickety-split home for a treat. He’s enjoying being an ‘only child’ at present…but as everyone who knows us understands, that won’t last.
Everyone have a safe and healthy Tuesday and remember to always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
“Monday, Monday! All We Hoped It Would Be!”
Monday October 5 2020
Thank you Mamas and Papas for such a great weekday starting song!! And, for us in Pondlandia, we LOVE Mondays because it means we are off to another great week of Livin’, Learnin’, Laughin, and Lovin’!! And of course, Doin’ EPIC!
Harry has gotten downright camera shy…we were just about to film or take a still photo of him TWICE today and he flew off!! Once on the East side of the Pond and the second time high up in one of the cypress trees. Oh well, maybe we’ve been a bit overzealous.
The Home Team and Team Mallard were on hand scrubbing the ground under the Pondlandian Tree of Souls again this morning AND we DID see Hurt Hen!! If you watch closely when the video first starts, you’ll see her kinda isolated and still. She’s slowly healing and not limping quite as badly. YAY!
So, we wish you a great Monday and week to follow!! Should be spectacular though there is some storm activity developing in the Gulf that bears watching!! In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
"Sundays in Pondlandia with Harry and Friends"
Sunday October 4 2020
This morning’s first view of Team Mallard and the Home Team looked like a tableau of decoys! They were just still as they could be but began to move about as we drew closer. Apparently the Keeper of the Corn had distributed ‘breakfast’ and headed back to ‘the house’. Usually, they will make a bee-er-duckline to the bank when a person shows up and they have NOT been fed.
Across the Pond on DuckFeather Pointe stood Harry in his usual spot. So we hot-footed it over and got some footage of him before he flew off. We most likely scared him off by talking more than anything. We’ll try to contain our enthusiasm for him to keep him from not only flying off but stop using The Pointe as his perch of choice.
It’s another gorgeous fall day with dry air, as noted by the persistence of active mist, cool temperatures, and cloudless skies. Doesn’t get any better than this! Everyone please have a marvelous day; stay well, stay safe, and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
"Acorns and Mist; Sunshine and Saturday"
Saturday October 3 2020
It was certainly was a busy morning under the Pondlandian Tree of Souls today!! Almost all of Team Mallard and the Home Team were rummaging and rooting around in all the fallen leaves, possibly hunting for acorns. That most marvelous tree provides a bazillion acorns for all kinds of animals during the fall and winter. Today, it was our feathered friends scouring the ground. No sign of Harry AT A:LL! So we turned off the camera and caught up with Big Solid and Mike Tyson in the Spookey Spikey Woods…where Harry was also NOT around.
On our way back around, we were about halfway to DuckFeather Pointe when Big Solid said, “Well, look who’s joining us!” It was Harry, so we got the camera rolling and caught him on the Southwest bank.
Once we did get to The Pointe, all of our Teams were already perched and ready for settle down for a nap in the sun. All that was left was to watch the mist roll across the pond, set our intentions and mosey on home. So, have a magnificent Saturday; stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
"Greetings with Friday on Our Minds!
Friday October 2 2020
We sure were glad to see Harry back at the Pond early this morning. It was 46º when we spotted him on the South Bank; he was all humped over to conserve heat and had his feathers plumped out a bit as insulation. There were absolutely NO ducks at the South Bank, either. They were at the north end of the pond getting bathed and ready to pop-up to the levee. It’s interesting that Team Mallard fly up to the levee and the Home Team of Huey and Dewey have carved a little ‘waddling’ path up the bank to the pond wall. We did not get over to DuckFeather Pointe in time to film them all making their way from water to wall…we’ll try to make a point (no pun intended) to capture that process in the future.
Other than that, it was a lovely, crisp fall morning and considering that this time last year, we were still looking at intense 90º heat. Thankfully, that’s not the case this year. We always get a kick out of seeing the mist swirl and move across the Pond and with the dry air we have now, the mist is quite active and plentiful. Also, watching the sun gently touch the tree tops of the Spookey Spikey Woods of North Pondlandia is delightful.
So, we wish y’all a great first October Friday and hope that you have a most excellent day. Remember to stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND!! Elf
"Hello October! Hello Sun!
Thursday October 1 2020
What a great start to the month of October! When we checked on our video from October 1 2019, the high was forecast to be 96º-97º!! Today’s high will be in the upper 70’s! What a difference a year makes.
We were actually so early making our Pondlandian visit this morning, we missed even Harry! Well, it’s Golf Day for Big Solid, so what can I say. Maybe he’ll break 80 today.
We were greeted quite enthusiastically by the Home Team and Team Mallard (still no sighting of Hurt Hen) as they get us mixed up with the Keeper of the Corn. Their disappointment was evident as they quickly turned from us to scurrying around picking at invisible corn or visible acorns on the ground under the Pondlandian Tree of Souls. Patrick, our little Green Heron, flew away immediately when he saw us coming, so we have no proof of his existence today.
We visited Duck Feather Pointe anyway…no day is complete without a trip to the Pointe, even if Harry is not in plain sight. It’s just a place of serenity that soothes even the most turbulent of feelings. What we did see what the lovely rising of the sun and the luscious pinks that bled through the trees.
So we're off to a magnificent start to October. We are also hopeful that this October will present us with some of the glorious colors like last year…keeping our Elfin fingers crossed. So, let’s welcome this month with open hearts and remember to stay safe, stay healthy and always always BE KIND. Elf Out!
"Saying Goodbye to September AND The Elf Looks at 74!"
Wednesday September 30 2020
Another gorgeous Fall morning in Pondlandia! Lots of busy-ness on the South Bank as the Geese, Team Mallard, and the Home Team had just gotten a big ole cup ‘Full ‘O Corn’ from the Keep of said Corn. Food coupled with the cool weather makes our feathered friends happy and active. Some chasing going on but by and large a hospitable group.
We accidentally flushed Harry out of his spot in the northwest curve of the pond, where we found him yesterday but we were able to get a few seconds of his flight away from us. He landed on the levee where we caught him a bit later in the last part of the video.
The Pond has a film of green algae on it and the ducks were seemingly enjoying slurping it down. We do know that algae (not THIS algae) has some health benefits such as Omega-3 Fatty Acids and other essential Amino Acids (google it). So maybe they are aware of what their nutritional needs are!! As we begin our 75th trip around the sun, we are hopeful that y’all continue to enjoy The Chronicles of Pondlandia and also continue to DO EPIC!! Every day…stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
OH and PS...Big Solid has yet to break 80 on the golf course but he's determined to keep trying!
"A Perfect Day for Big Solid to Break 80"
Tuesday September 29 2020
BOY-OH-BOY!! What a spectacularly Autumn day!! Crystal clear skies, temperature in the 50’s, flapping and talkative Geese, stalking and graceful Casper, reclusive and reserved Harry, paddling and bathing Team Mallard, and the Home Team settled on the north Pond Wall. Yep, one could even call it EPIC!!
If a day like today doesn’t inspire one to DO EPIC, at least enjoy it for the sheer beauty of it. And, as it is Big Solid’s Golfing Day, we have our fingers crossed that he will break 80 (a 79 will do).
So, initially, we spotted Harry over in the east bend of the Pond and got a nice still photo of him; he flew away before we could get film and wound up perched near the top of one of the Six Cypress Sisters…again, only a still photo of that. THEN, lo and behold, Casper flew in and settled near the gazebo to stalk a fish or two. As we walked over to DuckFeather Pointe, we heard and then saw a gaggle of Canada Geese roll in and splash down in a flurry of braking wings and boisterous commenting.
We began to settle our heart and soul with the Home Team of Huey and Dewey, peacefully and quietly seated on the wall as we set our intentions to be an example of kindness for the day. So, last Tuesday, we were seeking a ‘Tuesday’ moniker of sorts to go along with Manic Mondays, Hump Day Wednesdays, Throwback Thursdays, TGIF Fridays…don’tcha see. Well, today would be (and could possibly be again) Terrific Tuesday! So, y’all, stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
"Fall, Feathers, and Full Hearts"
Monday September 28 2020
Monday has started off rather slowly…Team Mallard and the Home Team were found waiting impatiently for their morning corn while Harry located himself on the ‘other’ side of the Gazebo to also wait for a fish. We did see Casper fly over but he must have decided that his options were better elsewhere, so he did not linger in Pondlandia.
Aside from that, we wait today for a cool front to come through around noon, bringing some rain and much cooler temperatures. Well, not THAT much cooler, but enough to wear a sweatshirt and beanie, not to mention turning our culinary efforts to making a big ole pot of SOUP! Your Elf’s FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR!!
There was not a soul on DuckFeather Pointe yet it was nice to walk to the very end without scaring our friends away. The Pond is peacefully rippled with a southwest breeze, waiting for some fresh rain. Fall gardens are likewise happy to receive the rain; you can water all day long and still not achieve what Mother Nature’s own rain contributes. So, y’all…have a nice start to this week that will usher out one month and welcome another. Stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
"Little Cat Feets in Pondlandia"
Sunday September 27 2020
Thanks to Carl Sandburg, we have this marvelous experience of fog…and this morning’s visit to Pondlandia only served to solidify that. Not terribly dense, just enough to make its presence known and offer us some rewards to boot. Fog’s airborne water muffles sound and amplifies the peace and quiet of Pondlandia. Fog softens the edges of visuals, further enhances the sense of being in cloaked in stillness. Fog encloses us in a blanket of stillness and adds a sense of security to our consciousness.
Team Mallard was fewer in number this morning but nonetheless vocal in their requests for someone to FEED ME! The Home Team remains as always, though they did clean up a bit from yesterday! And, Harry was nowhere to be seen or found. We suspect he is ‘roosting in’ this early fall day, waiting for a bit of sun to break through later to appear for breakfast.
So, we hope you have a marvous final Sunday of September…man, oh man, it sure does seem like we just began this month. and finally, HOW ABOUT THOSE MS STATE BULLDOGS!! Big Solid was almost apoplectic. Stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
"Holy Moly! It's a Cluster Duck!"
Saturday September 26 2020
WOW!! We thought we were seeing triple double today when we saw this morning’s Team Mallard. Eighteen in all and we DID see Hurt Hen! in our film we say we could not see her but when we were doing some editing, we DID see her. She’s still limping a bit but isn’t letting it slow her down!! Harry was fishing off DF Pointe until we scared him over to the South Bank, and, well, the Home Team of Huey and Dewey were so filthy on their chests. Initially, we thought it was due to them scrounging around the banks but we also thought they may have picked up some of the algae growing currently.
All in all it was a busy morning with lots of chirping, squeaking, and quacking. Hope everyone has a great weekend; we’ll see you tomorrow! In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
"Don't Look a Gift Heron in the Beak"
Friday September 25 2020
It was a cloudy, damp, and sorta dreary Friday morning BUT that does NOT stop our feathered friends from their appointed rounds of corn and company. We could not find Harry anywhere initially but as we were strolling by the Spookey Spikey Woods we saw him fly over from his nightly roost. Apparently, he spends his sleeping hours somewhere in the East SS Woods up in a tree. It was quite lovely to see his graceful flight. You know that Herons fly with their necks crooked until they get ready to land and then they stretch their necks our straight. Cranes, on the other hand, fly and land with necks out…that’s one way to tell the difference. We rarely see Cranes in our area, though on occasion, we will spot Sandhill Cranes flying over. But we digress.
Once we wound our way over to the South Bank, we had Team Mallard and the Home Team mistaking us for the Keeper of the Corn and they began a March to the Grain, only to be disappointed. And even though we’d seen Harry fly over, we could not find him anywhere!! Not on the South or West Banks, not on DuckFeather Pointe, not on the North Levee…no where. Nonetheless, we headed to DFPointe anyway to set our intentions. Well, we dang near stumbled right INTO Harry who was well camouflaged just south of DFPointe. Just LOOK at him—-such a patient boy. We were going to try to film him in slow motion if he went for a fish, but after waiting a while, we gave up. Maybe one of these days!
We can feel fall in the air and are beginning to see just the slightest touch of color in some of the trees of North Pondlandia. It will be interesting to watch the color progress over the next few weeks, especially after a couple of really chilly nights. Stay tuned!
OK—y’all have a GREAT Friday! Stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
"We Have Been Beta-Clubbed!"
Thursday September 24 2020
My Goodness!! What rains we have had (around 6 inches); and dang glad of them, for the most part. It took awhile to make it to Pondlandia this morning. It rained hard all night and steady this morning. This rain should help the Pond get some new energy which will spread right up into The Gang!
We were very late to get to Pondlandia today as the rain and other activities (Pilates, as a matter of fact) held us up. But when we did, it was still misting; waterfowl activity was practically non-existent. The Home Team was taking a morning nap…so wrapped up in sleep with heads tucked under a wing while standing on one foot that they did not move at all. The reason ducks rest their heads under a wing when they sleep is because it gives their neck muscles a chance to rest from being held erect all the time AND the one foot stance is an heat and energy conservation technique. How cool is that!
So, short and sweet today as we really feel fall in the air today. Love it!! Y’all have a most wonderful Thursday. Remember to stay safe, stay healthy and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
"Much of Nothing About Ado""
Wednesday September 23 2020
What a slow morning today…no ‘ado’ anywhere! But in all fairness, we WERE a bit late getting to Pondlandia; mayhap activities preceded our arrival. Harry was hanging out on the South Bank, Team Mallard (though fewer in number) and the Home Team were likewise hanging out in the Pond. Could it be that they are just enjoying the cooler weather AND can also sense approaching rains from Beta. We’ve been waitin’ for these rains for days but Beta has fooled us more than once but just sitting still over Houston. There is a Flash Flood watch in effect for our area but to look at the sky, you’d not believe it.
This gives us time to share our last clip of our Great Trees of Pondlandia project. We must admit that this Tree is our favorite even though does not EXACTLY border Pondlandia (same as our Little Remember’ Tree). This tree has such character and soul…need we say more. Enjoy. And remember to stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND. Elf Out!
"Pondlandian Legends of the Fall"
Tuesday September 22 2020
As we sit here this morning, we learned that Fall/Autumn/Mabon will arrive in about 20 minutes or at 8:31 with the Autumnal Equinox! How cool it is to sit here writing to you about Pondlandia as the season actually CHANGES!! And what a welcomed change it is!
You know, Tuesday has no real identity as a weekday other than….well, Tuesday. It’s not Manic Monday, Hump Day (Wednesday), Throwback Thursday or Weekend Eve Eve, or TGIF Friday. It’s just Tuesday…so I’m proposing a call for Tuesday nicknames from all Pondlandian followers and friends. What you get is an “Attaboy” and a virtual hug from Your Elf, ‘high feathers’ from all of Pondlandian feathered fowl, and a shower of fall leaves from the Great Trees of Portlandia.
Today’s action was all centered on the South Bank with Team Mallard (7 members present today), the Home Team (you-know-who), and Harry, our resident Heron-laureate. We are happy to report that Hurt Hen is still with us and her limp is getting less noticeable as time goes by. We initially could not find her but on a second video, we did pick her out. Also, if you look closely, you’ll see Huey and Dewey have really dirty chests..a dead giveaway that they’ve been scouring the pond floor for tasty morsels…or something.
Though our visit to DuckFeather Pointe was without any feathered accompaniment, it did offer us some quiet time and peace to offer our daily intentions without noise or interruption. Quiet is good and silence is an opportunity to rest our minds for a brief time…we all need to do that on occasion.
So we give you the first Tuesday of Autumn in Pondlandia!! Have a great day and remember to stay safe, stay healthy and to always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
"All We Have are Ducks in the Wind!"
Monday September 21 2020
What a nice start to this Monday!! We had three deer who came out of the Spookey Spikey Woods of North Pondlandia for the first time in a long time. They are moving more actively with the advent of cooler weather, searching for acorns that are starting to drop.
Then we actually SAW Harry catch a fish on the South Bank but were’t quick enough with the video to film it. He made quick work of that fish as it as rather small and not like that big ole dude he caught the other day. The Home Team of Huey and Dewey were found, yet again, scouring the depths on the West Bank before making their way over the the Pond Wall on the North Side. The Geese that have been hanging around lately were nowhere to be seen or heard, so they must be making the rounds to other nearby ponds. Team Mallard was gathered on the South Bank as well but when we tried to get closer to them, they flew off into the Pond. We managed to find them riding the waves at the tip end of DuckFeather Point before locating the Home Team and a few more Mallards on the North side.
It’s quite breezy and cloudy today, in part no doubt, to Tropical Storm Beta’s approach to the Texas coast. We are due to get some rain from Beta later this week. We sure could use it as it’s been really dry of late. We DID get our fall garden planted so keep your fingers crossed that everything lives and grows into edible stuffs!!
OK fellow Pondlandians, have a most special Monday and remember to stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
"A Pondlandian Happy Birthday to Big Solid AND an Awesome FlyOver!"
Sunday September 20 2020
As John Lennon would say, it’s a Red Lettuce Day in Pondlandia,…Big Solid’s 77th birthday. For those of you who don’t already know, Big Solid is Your Elf’s long-suffering but always loving husband. So, the Pondlandians pulled out all the stops today! We had BOTH Herons, Harry the Great Blue AND Casper the Great White Egret on the South Shore/Bank; Team Mallard AND the Home Team on the North Pond Wall, and then an absolutely majestic FlyOver and landing by a skein and then a gaggle of Canada Geese. Geese are called a ‘skein’ when in flight and a 'gaggle' when on the ground or in the water...did y’all know that? We didn’t either but now all of us do! What a way to start this most auspicious day. So thank you Pondlandia for your thoughtfulness.
You know not only does Pondlandia and its living things remind us of our daily intentions, it also teaches us what Your Elf (www.elfspeaks.com) calls the Four L’s...Live, Laugh, Learn, and Love. How do you think we experience those Four L’s...we’d love to hear from you on that. We have some thoughts as well but would much rather hear from you.
So have a really terrific day as we enjoy this day of rest (or not, for first responders, health care providers, and essential folks). We so look forward to see you again tomorrow. Until then, stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
"Ponderin' in Pondlandia"
Saturday September 19 2020
Canada Geese are more than abundant in our area; sometimes, many make a stop by Pondlandia for a looksee and some corn. Lots of folks consider them a nuisance and a pest because their droppings are ill-placed, copious, and extensive. However, we DO love to watch them fly over in full conversation, intrigued beyond measure as to what on earth they are saying. We did have some geese with us today; we aren’t pointing any feathers BUT it does seem that they MAY have gotten the bulk of the corn and chased Team Mallard and the Home Team off to pluck away on the Pond walls. And, that dear Pondlandian followers, was the extent of the action today. Not much at all happening until almost ready to stop the camera when Casper, the Great White Egret, landed on the South Bank. He’s been conspicuous in his absence lately, so we were more than thrilled to see him, albeit at a distance.
Nevertheless, Pondlandia is enchanting even on a boring day as it keeps us focused on things that matter and offers sanctuary to even the most harried of souls. We think it impossible to be there for any length of time without absorbing sense of peacefulness and quiet…and in these days of stress, angst, and worry, what a gift that is.
So, we wish you a wonderful Saturday and forever remind us all to stay safe, stay healthy and always always BE KIND. Elf Out!
"Heat and Humidity Goeth Before Our Fall!"
Friday September 18 2020
There was an enormous, gigantic, and cosmic sigh that echoed across Pondlandia, and no doubt the rest of the ‘Land Mass’ this morning…yes! It was 63º when we set foot outside at 7:00 a.m. We saw at least three flocks of geese fly over, with a few landing at the Pond. They were not afraid of us when we walked by but did maintain a close eye on our presence. Mike Tyson most surely represented a big threat…not! Harry was sighted at the extreme end of DuckFeather Pointe, so low on the bank that all we could see was that splendidly designed head…perfect for spearing a fish. We got fairly close but not enough to see the rest of him. At first, we thought we were missing a lot of Team Mallard but we didn’t check both pond walls. The Home Team was set up on the North Wall but when we panned over the the West Wall…there they were!! So we just basked in the delight of this cool and dry weather; though our newly planted (well, half planted) fall garden could use some rain, we are more than happy to water until the ‘real’ water falls. Y’all have a magnificent Friday; stay safe, stay healthy and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
"Beautiful Skies and Cooler Temperatures...YAY!"
Thursday September 17 2020
What an interesting morning…we’ve been in such a stagnant place lately with Team Mallard and The Home Team and Harry. So today wasn’t THAT much different but it was just enough to put a spark back in the films. First of all, Team Mallard today was out in in the Pond but flew, one by one, to the South Bank to wait for the Keeper of the Corn. In the meantime, they grazed in the grass, seeking whatever tidbits of goodies they could find…competing with the squirrels as well. We did not see Hurt Hen initially but spotted her later. So happy she is still with us and seems to be a lot less limpy than the other day. Who knows, maybe she just pulled a muscle or ligament trying to kickbox.
And there was NO HARRY to be found. Not on DuckFeather Pointe, not in one of the Six Cypress Sisters…nowhere! UNTIL we stopped filming on the South Bank and started over to The Pointe…then all of a sudden he just SWOOPED out of the sky and landed on the South Bank. Of course, we missed the actual swooping part as we’d stopped the video. The Home Team seems to be locked in again at the West Bank, sloshing around bottom and Patrick was perched on the drain yet again.
And so we have our downhill slide into the weekend with beautiful weather in front of us and even better in the days ahead. We are thinking of those folks who were hammered brutally by Sally and hope recovery has begun.
We DID get the first half of our fall garden planted, so we are all set for the Straw Bales to finish seasoning so we can finish it out. OK! Y’all have a most spectacular Thursday and remember to stay safe, stay healthy and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
"Heat and Humidity Be Gone!!"
Wednesday September 16 2020
It seems as if the South Bank has had a magnetic pull for our feathered friends over the past few weeks. Both on and off shore. Today, Harry was perched ON the pipe itself while the Home Team of Huey and Dewey continued their underwater foraging for whatever they find delicious. Team Mallard (counting seven today, no Hurt Hen though) was rummaging around near the Corn Can waiting for the Keeper of the Corn to show up and FEED ME! And that was pretty much it. We did get pretty close to Harry before finally walking out to DuckFeather Pointe to set our intentions.
Today is the day we plant our fall garden!! We are beyond excited to find some nice fall vegetables. The garden itself is prepped, for the most part. We will plant broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, Lacinato kale, and collards in the raised beds, Earth boxes, and remaining summer straw bales. The new straw bales are not quite ready but that’s fine…we do not want to plant everything at once anyway. Not exactly Pondlandian news but close enough…Y’all have a great Wednesday and remember to stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND. Elf Out!
"A Mid-September Morning...Where DOES Time
Tuesday September 15 2020
As Hurricane Sally continues to churn away, albeit weakened, in the Gulf of Mexico, bringing a LOT of rain and high surf to beachfronts from Louisiana to Florida, we sit high and dry here in Pondlandia. You’d never know that a mere 150 miles south, tropical havoc is being wreaked. So, we are keeping all in harm’s way in our hearts that they stay safe.
In the meantime, the feathered population of Pondlandia seemed to gather pretty much in one spot today…that being along the South Bank curvedy corner, especially along the drain pipe. We almost walked right up on Harry, he was so well hidden. Patrick flew off but came back to the pipe not long after. The Keeper of the Corn delivered a tasty breakfast that pulled the Home Team of Huey and Dewey to the shore and a less populous Team Mallard enjoyed some as well. Harry, being a pescatrarian primarily, stayed close to see if a fish would become an unwitting start to the day.
We suspect the drain pipe may be a source of new elements for the pond, such as minerals, bugs, and/or other nutrients provided via the runoff. Hence the focus on that area.
So, we wish you a good Tuesday as we make this halfway point of September; we are determined to get some fall vegetables planted today (if we can find them) as the weather looks to be cooling off over the next few days. If you had a fall garden, what did you plant? We will make an effort to share some garden film with your during a brief foray into the outskirts of Pondlandia. Fingers crossed! In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
"Clouds, Ducks, Breezes, and Ripples"
Monday September 14 2020
We are always grateful for a new day but some mornings bring a bit more contentment than others, for no other reason than they just do. This morning was one of those; and it was all weather related. It was cloudy with a nice easterly breeze enough to ripple the Pond and be detected by the microphone but it was also cool albeit humid. Yep, Sally can be felt this far away and we’re just fine with that distance. We know not what the next few days will bring but from the Pondlandian viewpoint, it will be another ‘day at the office’.
Harry was in a slightly different location today near the drain pipe. Apparently he’s been watching Patrick there and noted some successful fishing. Team Mallard and the Home Team were flushed from the Pond Wall where they’d been grooming when a loose dog showed up; all they had to do was make for the water.
The path of Sally is still undetermined, Mother Nature is showing the power of being unpredictable; no telling how many Weather Channel reporters are scattered from Pensacola, Florida to Grand Isle, Louisiana, including the Land Mass between New Orleans and Mobile.
In Pondlandian, that translates into “It don’t make me no nevermind” as we’ll all be here again tomorrow mornin’, eating, fishing, bathing, paddling, stalking, quacking, preening, and plucking. In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND. Elf Out.
"Watching Tropical Storm Sally...Closely"
Sunday September 13 2020
We had a really good rain last night which helped the Pond out quite a bit, not to mention my straw bales for the fall garden. We all have our eyes on the Gulf of Mexico as Tropical Storm Sally builds and approaches somewhere along the Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama coasts. We also know that tracks of storms can change almost until landfall, so we are prepared but hope no bad stuffs hit. We also know that, though we are significantly inland, we can also get hammered with severe weather.
The waterfowl do not seem particularly distressed today and are following the routine they’ve followed all week. Eat breakfast on the South Bank, flap into the Pond and get their ten thousand paddles for the day. Next is to bathe and splash and dunk and flap all the way out to the North levee Pond Wall. Then with great featherfare, fly or waddle up to the wall and proceed to pluck excess feathers and preen for the a fine appearance throughout the day.
Harry was at his usual perch with such a bright sun, it was hard to see him. DuckFeather Pointe faces east, so we are always looking directly in the sun to film him.
We also have time today for another of the Great Trees of Pondlandia video…we hope you enjoy a reminder of just how interesting and lovely the Spookey Spikey Woods of North Pondlandia are.
So, have a delightful Sunday and remember to stay safe, stay healthy and always always BE KIND. Elf Out!
"Stopping by Pondlandia on a Sunny Morning"
Saturday September 12 2020
It appears that we, along with a couple of Mallards, were a bit late to the party this morning. After all, it IS Saturday, when we try to sleep past 6 am. But we did catch Harry patrolling the South Bank…well, patrolling indicates movement and we all know how still Harry can be.
What we weren’t prepared for was this flock of Canada Geese that appeared to take up almost the whole north end of the Pond as Team Mallard and Home Team H&D watched (and plucked errant feathers) from the Pond Wall on the North levee. We are beginning to see an increase in the numbers of geese and Mallards as the days get shorter. It really makes us anticipate other ducks and waterfowl that stop by on their way elsewhere or stay to make Pondlandia their winter digs. Apologies to Robert Frost for the amended title…
And so, we celebrate this lovely Saturday in spite of the continuing struggles with The Virus That Shall Not Be Named and also look forward to the return of College Game Day…especially Big Solid. Remember to practice our intentions, stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND. Elf Out!
"A Time for Paddlin' and a Time for Pluckin'"
Friday September 11 2020
We have quite the potpourri today, from deer to a variety of duck stuffs. So, “let’s get all up in it”, to quote HRH Jill Conner Browne.
We saw some deer near the Spookey Spikey Woods for the first time in a LONG TIME!! We waited for the littlest one to come out for a while but finally gave up; sure enough, we hadn’t gone 10 steps when that little one came out. Oh well…we’ll catch up another time. We almost waited too long to catch the entire Team Mallard and Home Team on the South Bank; most took off across the Pond following a corn fest earlier, so only four were left BUT you can see our Duck Dude watching over them until they all took off to join up with the rest of the team as the approached the Pond Wall on the North levee.
There was some serious paddlin’ around, quackin’ and chucklin going on for a while until one by one Team Mallard flew up on the wall itself. The Home Team has established a pathway up the bank, so they waddled up and took their respective place on the wall as well. As we were leaving, we noticed that, to a duck, they were all engaged in a cluster pluck of epic proportions…getting their feathers dried out and disposing the ones that needed to go.
We had feathers all over the ground and a fair number in the pond before we left. There was ONE little hen who stayed in the Pond. We waited and waited but she just stayed in the water, and quacking quite pitifully.
We were afraid it was our Hurt Hen and that she was too weak to fly, so we decided to wait her out. Sure enough, about two or three minutes went by and she flapped herself right on up to that wall without a second glance. And, as it turned out, she was NOT our Hurt Hen. We will watch for HH tomorrow.
And, as we go through this Day of Days in our history, let us never forget what we as a nation endured and how we prevailed. Elf Out.
"Fish Gotta Swim, Harry's Gotta Eat"
Thursday September 10 2020
At first, we couldn’t find anyone at the usual spot on the South Bank but did find Casper there. He’s always very skittish so flew off and up into one of the Six Sister Cypresses. Harry’s sudden movement on the South side of DuckFeather Pointe in the Pond found him catching a fish. We aren’t quite sure if you are able to see him actually snag his fish but he did as you’ll see later on.
There was a significant amount of activity this morning around the Pond that kept Team Mallard and the Home Team (you-know-who) in the Pond itself. Since we weren’t able to see Team Mallard on the ground, we couldn’t determine if our little Hurt Hen was still hanging in and check on her injury. We’ll probably visit later today; they all like to bed down around The Pointe in the afternoon, napping and plucking old feathers in the shade of the Sisters.
BUT!! Look at Harry’s catch! What a fish he’s got, for sure. Casper is perched high in the branches above, no doubt casting a hungry and envious eye. And so the day begins, the heat and humidity will build and we will long for cool weather. Then we will remind ourselves of the fires out West and not give a second thought to our own concerns. So, have a great Thursday and remember to stay healthy, stay safe, and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
"All Quiet on the Mallard Front"
Wednesday September 9 2020
Every day when we stroll through Pondlandia, we wonder what and who we will see. And every day, though we see the same friends, including the Great Trees of Pondlandia, we see wee changes or alterations in behavior or appearances. We also notice, believe it or not, subtle things we had not noticed before and are amazed at how intricately balanced Pondlandia is.
Yes, it was all quiet on the Mallard Front today with seemingly little action or activity. While Huey and Dewey were busily scouring the East Bank for whatever the heck they are enjoying, Team Mallard had settled from their morning’s breakfast for a rest. But, when we watched a bit longer, we noticed Dude Duck keeping watch over his friends. If you pay close attention, you’ll notice he’s relentlessly alert, watching and keeping the whole Pond in his sights to assure the safety of his fellow drakes and hens so they can rest. And, we did see our little Hurt Hen who seems to be otherwise ok. We hope she will heal without further trauma or difficulty.
We meant to point out yesterday that the Six Cypress Sisters have begun to show the first indications of a change in the color of their feathery leaves with some bronze tints at the uppermost branches. Wait ’til you see them in about a month!!
Harry changed perches or lookout sites to throw us off initially, but we spotted him. Gosh he was still and so engaged in fishing, he didn’t give us a second glance. What an utterly beautiful creature he is. So, there you have it…just another day in Pondlandian Paradise. Y’all stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND. Elf Out…
"Where Did the Cool Weather Go?"
Tuesday September 8 2020
All of last week, the forecasters predicted a real shot of fall weather would infuse the area around mid-week. NOT SO…and we will continue in the 90’s for the entirety of the week and possibly the weekend. AARRGG!! We can say, howsomever, that the humidity is down which at least makes it more bearable…but even that will return in a day or so.
That bein’ said, it does not deter our feathered friends in Ponlandia, and perhaps we can take a lesson from that. Understanding that we do not ‘speak duck or heron’, we can pretty much surmise that when they are conversating, they are not complaining about the weather. They have more important things to discuss or worry about…the corn, acorn, grain, and fish supply, most likely and making sure they stay out of the mouths of predators.
Today, we had a nice gathering of Mallards, Huey and Dewey, and Harry at the Pond. The Patricks (or Patrick and Patricia) always surprise us when they burst out of their hiding spots because they do hide so very well. We have another ‘hurt bird’…a little Mallard hen who has a bad limp. We looked up the previous HB to ascertain if they might be the same Mallard…nope, the other one is a drake. So, we have two Hurt Birds to watch out for. I wonder if it was a case of duckmestic violence?
And so it goes in the land of Feathers, Fins, and Fur (we take the squirrels for granted) on this second Tuesday of September. We hope you have a pleasantly flavored day; remember to stay healthy, stay safe, and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
"A Pondlandian Labor Day"
Monday September 7 2020
Labor Day in Pondlandia is pretty much like every other day’ however, with more activity externally, the wildlife becomes a bit more reclusive and easier to scare off. Such was the case today, Harry would not stay on the Pointe as he usually does and the Mallards, Huey, and Dewey left the South Bank earlier than usual. You can see all of the ‘groomed’ feathers on the pond at the base of the Pond Wall…looks like most belong the H&D! Since we did not get to see the Mallards walking or grazing this morning, we don’t know if ‘Hurt Bird’ is back or not. Still keeping our fingers crossed. We also have our Great Trees of Pondlandia piece this morning with “Our Little Rememberin’ Tree”. While not terribly impressive to look at right now (wait ’til fall!), this little tree is a reminder of how lucky we are to live in a land that is free and to take time to celebrate the good things we have. It’s been a tough few months and things have been difficult, but this tree helps us focus on the good. Y’all have a great Labor Day; stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND. Elf Out!
"All in All, It's Just Another Duck on the Wall"
Sunday September 6 2020
My goodness what a sunrise this morning! We just snatched up our phone, ran outside and captured it as best we could. We sure hope you got a glimpse of it or at least live where you can see skies, sunsets, and sunrises.
Those of you who are Pink Floyd fans will most certainly recognize the ‘amended’ title for today’s Chronicle. We spotted this line-up as we were way over on North Pondlandia and held our breath until we got to DuckFeather Pointe in hopes they would all still be there…including time time we spent saying ‘good morning’ to Harry. And sure enough, they were all in place. Whew!
Other than that, there was not much activity at all. We did fail to mention or note the small amount of mist on the Pond. It was nice and coolish this morning early and a bit drier, the there was so rising mist. Always relaxing to see…such a reminder of how little things can be lovely. OK, y’all have a great Sunday. Relax, be thankful, stay safe, stay healthy, and always always, BE KIND. Elf Out.
"Chillin' on the Pond on a Saturday Mornin' and the Six Cypress Sisters"
Saturday September 5 2020
“Chillin’ in the Pond on a Saturday Mornin’ and the Six Cypress Sisters”
We had a short visit this morning as there was a lot of activity around the Pond…mowin’, sawin’, weed eatin’, and visitin’, so our feathered buddies decided to get away to North Pondlandia and bathe along the way. What a nice way to greet the weekend; a bit cloudy, so not so hot with a slight breeze to dry off those wet feathers.
We also have our third in the series of The Great Trees of Pondlandia by introducing you to the Six Cypress Sisters…those wonderfully designed trees that grace the entrance and walkway out to DuckFeather Pointe. Cypress trees seem to have leaves that look like feathers; what a design for a tree that is primarily located on or near water! So, we wish you a pleasant Saturday today with the following words…stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND. Elf Out.
"DuckFeather Pointe Interrupted"
Friday September 4 2020
Well, after the first video and our resolve to journey straight on out the The Pointe, we finally made it! We kept getting all caught up in other ducktivities…such as, two who flew in unexpectedly and were greeted with quacks and beaks, ferreting out Huey and Dewey from their underwater dining, and finally easing on out to visit with Harry and set our intentions. We did manage to get the date wrong…we said we thought is was the 5th…it’s not, it’s the 4th. Sometimes, us retired folks don’t know one day from the next. In any event, though Casper was not with us today, Harry and our usual gang was…and for that we are grateful. Y’all have a most spectacular start to the weekend. And remember to stay safe, stay healthy and always always be kind. Elf Out!
"CASPER, the Great White Egret and TOTO"
Thursday September 3 2020
We got to the Pond early this morning in hopes of finding Casper..and sure enough, THERE HE WAS next to the drain pipe. He’s really skittish, so when folks start getting out and walking, he usually high-flies it away. And, it didn’t take long until he did just that…if you watch really close when he takes off, you can see how his great white wings barely tip the water in the pond…he’s letting the water life know he’s still around! If you’ll notice when Casper lights in one of the cypress trees, he extends his neck whereas when he flies, his neck is drawn in. That’s one of the distinguishing features of a Heron from a Crane..Cranes fly with their necks extended, Herons do not. Just a bit of trivia to add to your collection.
We were down to four Mallards, no ‘hurt bird’ to be seen…fingers crossed that he’s holed up somewhere recuperating and will be back in duck action soon. Huey and Dewey barrelled up on the South Bank as soon as they saw us, asking for ‘corn, please’. We did finally spot Harry the Great Blue Heron WAAY back in the corner of the Pond on the West Bank…too far to even attempt to film.
Finally, our second video features another of the Great Trees of Pondlandia. This is such a wonderful tree that we named Toto…you can figure it out but if you don’t, we’ll share next time (if we can remember!). That’s it for this third day of September. We wish you a peaceful, safe, and healthy day, remembering to always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
"Now You See Them; Now You Don't""
Wednesday September 2 2020
When we saw our first glimpse of Pondlandia this morning, Casper the Great White Egret was on the West Bank waiting to catch a fish. By the time we completed our walk through North Pondlandia and back around, he was gone. Phooey! We DID however find Harry on the North levee with a really big fish he’d caught. In fact, it was too big to just swallow whole, so he had to figure out some way to eat it. The video is a bit far for our little camera, but we hope you can see him anyway. AND, he took off and disappeared not long after we filmed…so we had two of our ‘stars’ to vanish before we could get some really good film.
However, we did have a significant number of geese on hand today to compete with the nine Mallards. We were missing one Mallard, so we hope that it’s not because of our ‘hurt bird’, who we did not see. Huey and Dewey just paddled around the West Bank, scouring for food both above and below the water.
With no distractions, such as Harry or Patrick or Casper or the discovery of a whale in the Pond, we were able to set our intentions with renewed spirit this morning. Discouraging bitterness and hatred by loving someone forward rather than engaging with anger; Discovering and sharing the glee of an unexpected act of kindness; Delighting in the joy of making someone feel special; and Dispelling negative energy by Doing Epic. Everyone have a great Wednesday…stay safe, stay healthy, and BE KIND. Elf Out!
"Welcome September and The Pondlandian Tree of Souls"
Tuesday September 1 2020
It was a very quiet start to this month today; no Harry, no Casper. BUT, we did have a nice group of Mallards to honor us with their attention. Actually, they were requesting some corn but we’ll take that as a warm greeting anyway. Our little ‘hurt bird’ was not present today; we sure hope he’s just restin’ up and getting better. We will most definitely keep you posted.We DID, however, miss pointing out when Patrick took off and flew to one of the Six Sisters Cypress trees. You may have to look at the second video twice to see him.
AND!! We are introducing our First look at the Great Trees of Pondlandia. Today, we salute the Pondlandian Tree of Souls (thank you 'Avatar')…this magnificent tree is such a focal point for Pondlandia and sets a message of hope, strength, endurance, safety, and solidarity. And, ‘boy howdy’ that’s a message we can all latch onto in these anxious days. Just a quick aside, the Tree video was taken earlier this year which is why the weather is so different!! Been waitin’ for a good time to introduce the Great Trees series. Now is a great time!! So, have a most spectacular start to September by doubling down on being safe, being healthy, and yes indeedy, always always being KIND. Elf Out!”
"Goodbye August; Marchin' into Fall"
Monday August 31 2020
The cloud cover this morning helped elevate this last day of August to a tolerable mornin’. We know when the sun burns off this visible humidity, it will be steamy beyond words. Seems like everyone person we ran into on our Pondlandian visit greeted us with the same expression…”Man, is it humid or what!”
We spotted Harry lurking near the East Bank but scared him off trying to get closer; Casper was nowhere to be seen. Maybe he doesn’t like to fly in such heavy air; takes too much effort. That being said, we had a nice complement of ducks today. Several Mallards and Huey and Dewey. We did have to holler at Huey for being a ‘corn bully’ and biting one of the Mallard hens. AND, we have a ‘hurt’ drake (at least we think it’s a juvenile drake). We have no idea how he got hurt buy he does have a rather pronounced limp. We’ll keep an eye on him and hope that he spend some therapeutic time in the pond doin a little duck leg rehab.
So, we hope you’ve had a decent August and are looking forward with great anticipation the advent of fall. We have one more week or ten days of Pondlandia’s Open Air Steam Room before the potential for some cooler drier air. And so we make our days good ones by staying safe, staying healthy, and always taking every opportunity to be kind. Elf Out!
"The Sunday of Camera Inspired Evasions"
Sunday August 29 2020
Today’s Pondlandian excursion was fraught with episodes of camera-shy herons, as you’ll see. We started out trying to capture Casper on the South Bank with a cluster of Mallards but as soon as my foot scraped on the pavement, he took off! Great White Egrets such as Casper are in the heron family, hence the reference. We did have quite a busy group of Mallards, 5 pairs to be exact. They were so chatty and gregorious; just having a great time quacking their greetings, salutations, and general hellos. Along the West Bank, once again were Huey and Dewey—I scared the heck out of them trying to get them up close but they recovered nicely and acted like, “What! Me scared? Nah.”
As we approached Casper, who had flown out of sight several times, as he perched on the Pond Wall, he once again got spooked (as in the ‘real' Casper) and took off to the levee. We also tried to sneak up on Harry to get a good close-up of him, but even HE took off across the Pond when we started talking. All in all, though, it was a lovely start to the day with lots of good feathered friends to entertain and delight. This penultimate day of August will be another humid scorcher, so we will hunker down inside and plan our fall garden. So, y’all have a great day and remember to stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND! Elf Out!
"The Duck Salute"
Saturday August 29 2020
WE welcome this lovely Saturday morning with an early walk. The day is forecast to be brutally hot with heat indices reaching 111º later on. We caught Harry in the same yard he was in yesterday and Patrick perched on the aerator on the eastern side of the Pond. Our Mallard crowd has diminished to three, two hens and a drake. The one hen was especially friendly and was most likely in search of some corn. Huey and Dewey provided the best entertainment with a variety of bows and salutes as they worked the western bank. With no one on DF Pointe, we didn’t wander out and chose to set our intentions as Huey and Dewey performed for us. We hope you have a pleasant and relaxing Saturday, keeping in mind those who have lost so much in Hurricane Laura. Please stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND. Elf Out!
"Thankfulness in Pondlandia"
Friday August 28 2020
We are certainly happy to report no significant damage from the outer bands of Hurricane Laura as she poured her devastation on Louisiana. We did have some pretty significant winds off and on during the day but by and large, came away with little harm. It rained heavily last night, which was actually a really needed rain. We are in the process of ‘seasoning’ some new Straw Bales for our fall garden, so the rain was indeed welcomed!
As for Pondlandia, we strolled by the Spookey Spikey Woods to see how they fared and were not disappointed. They stood tall, spookey, and spikey just like they always do. Such dramatic trees and branches. We did see a rather large limb that looked to be slightly ‘off’ but scurried out from under it quickly.
The South and West Banks this morning were home to several Mallards and Huey and Dewey. DuckFeather Pointe was bare! No Harry to be found until we spotted him in a yard along the Pond. Patrick, in typical Patrick fashion, would not be still long enough for a photo but we did see him flying across the Pond. Such is the beginning of a new day here in Pondlandia. We hope your day is a good one, filled with interesting things to do or ‘pond’er; no matter what, we wish you a pleasant day to start the weekend. Remember to stay well, stay safe, and always always, BE KIND. Elf Out!
"Feeling Laura's Impact"
Thursday August 27 2020
We started this ‘episode’ with our camera eye to the Sky…see how fast the clouds are moving? Isn’t that beautiful! We certainly have the folks in the immediate path of Laura in our hearts and wish them safe keeping; we are far enough away to get some wind and the lovely sweep of clouds before us. The we moseyed on down to the Pond where we were greeted by a LOT of Mallards; guess they flew in from the danger zone to escape Laura’s wrath. We are sorry for the wind in the microphone; will have to work on a way to protect the vocals without the noise. We were out pretty early this morning since it’s Big Solid’s golfing day; so early we even beat Harry to his spot on DuckFeather Pointe. And finally, we found a wind-protected spot on The Pointe to try to film Huey and Dewey as they jumped, well, eased themselves into the Pond to paddle on over to the South Bank to check out the Mallard crowd. Then, what to our wondering eyes and ears should appear, but a big ole flock of Canada Geese! We thought they were just going to fly over but they actually landed. We had some ‘cinema verité’ going on with the moving camera but at least got to see them land. There were greetings all around; we lost Huey and Dewey momentarily (more cinema verité) before watching them swim against the wind as we were setting our intentions and sharing our sadness at the loss of our Marley Barley, The Wayward Poodle. Y’all have a safe day, a healthy day, and a day filled with kindness to one another. Elf Out.
"Dodging the Laura Bullet""
Wednesday August 26 2020
On a morning where the thought we’d be bracing for some serious weather and storms, we awoke to bright skies, brutal humidity, and very still air. Laura, a major hurricane, decided to take a different course than originally thought, so we are relieved to be spared her fury, we also wish those in her path safe keeping. When we first approached Pondlandia this morning, there were a LOT of Mallards, Huey and Dewey, and Harry all along the South Bank. Yet, something spooked them before we could film and most of them took off, including Harry. As you can tell from the video, Harry located himself on the North levee and was actively patrolling for some breakfast. He is such a regal animal. We made our way back over to the South Bank and did find our stalwarts, Huey and Dewey, as well as about 4 Mallards. No Casper or Patrick to be found. Such is a day in and on Pondlandia. Some days are busy, some are not; some days are cool, some are not; some days are sunny, some days are not. We are thankful for every single one. Stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND.
"A Pre-Laura Mallard-Palooza!"
Tuesday August 25 2020
WOW!! Look at all these ducks!! They must know something we don’t because they are certainly gobbling up all the food stuffs they can find. AND, Casper is along the West Bank with Huey and Dewey with with him. Casper did take flight and we were able to watch him gracefully make his way out of Pondlandia. We didn’t see Harry at first because he’s usually so visible on the tip of DuckFeather Pointe…but we finally saw him, obscured by position and cloud-effect shadow. So we especially wish to underscore our BE SAFE reminder today as things can change quickly with a storm of this nature. So, y’all keep an eye to the sky and an ear to any alerts that may come your way. We’ll do the same and keep watch over Pondlandia and its ‘people’. Stay well and always, always be kind.
"Doing the Marco Fizzle"
Monday August 24 2020
Hurricane Marco, thankfully, had no impact on us. Today is quite lovely and we are getting the week off to a good start. That bein’ said, we do have Tropical Storm Laura to contend with and it appears her course is changing as we speak. No matter, we are prepared for any eventuality. Today we had an assortment at the Pond, four Mallards, Huey and Dewey, Patrick and Patricia playing flight tag, and our usual Pointe Guy, Harry. We are preparing our first video on the Great Trees of Pondlandia to show tomorrow…so we hope you enjoy! In the meantime, y’all stay safe, stay healthy, and always, always BE KIND!
"Storm Watchin' Pondlandians"
Sunday August 23 2020
Looks like folks were at the Pond early this morning, perhaps to stock up on eating in the event “we’re in for nasty weather”! Anyone know where that lyric came from? We had Casper right there on the South Bank, but he flew off before we could get close. However, seeing him take off and fly offered us a neat view of his mirror image as he flew over to the North Levee. Then, we had a third Mallad glide in for a smooth landing as he, too, is eager to get set for a couple of rainy and maybe windy days. We had Patrick, the little Green Heron, spotted on top of the drain pipe and finally, Harry on his usual spot at the end of DuckFeather Pointe. You know, we have TV, Internet, and other electronic means of finding out the news and weather. Our feathered and furry friends don’t but they know anyway. Can you think of a time when you learned of something by watching animals? They sure can teach us a lot in we pay attention. Ok, just as we said, we are off to the grocery store to stock up on goods ourownselves. Usually, when we do that, the storms go away! Y’all have a great Sunday and remember to stay safe, stay healthy, and always, always BE KIND!!
Saturday August 22 2020
Boy, do we hope ou enjoy today’s edition! It’s a bit of a departure, as you’ll notice right off the bat. We did not get to Pondlandia early as usual as we made our bi-weekly trip out to a most magnificent farm about 25 miles from us called Salad Days (in Flora MS). It’s not your average farm in that they grow hydroponically, meaning that the produce is grown using liquid nutrients rather than in the soil. It’s really clean and healthy BUT the major draw is that the lettuces we get from them are THE most delicious we’ve ever tasted. Google Salad Days or look for their FaceBook page for more information. When we pulled up this morning for our curbside pick-up, we asked Leigh Bailey, aka MS Salad Days herownself, if she minded us filming a little bit. She’s such a good sport and said Yep! When we got home, we did get to Pondlandia much later than usual but still got some nice pictures of the Mallards and Huey/Dewey. We missed Harry’s Pointe position but he’ll most likely return tomorrow. One of the great shore birds, either Harry or Casper, must have been perched in one of the Six Cypress Sisters and took off when we started talking. We missed him directly but if you look close on the pond itself, you see the reflection! We are keeping our fingers crossed that we don’t get hit too hard with the two Tropical Storms that are headed toward the Gulf of Mexico. We hope wherever you are you likewise stay safe, stay healthy, and always always be kind.
"Rumbly and Thundery"
Friday August 21 2020
It wasn’t quite a dark and stormy morning but close. It was cloudy with rumbles of thunder in the background, so we did not wish to linger. Nothing as threatening as we had Sunday evening, but just enough to be weather-wise. Since it’s Friday, I had Mikey Tyson with me as Big Solid was on his way to the Iona House/Food Pantry. There was absolutely NO action on the South Bank, so we meandered (albeit quickly) over to DuckFeather Pointe where the usual small crowd had gathered. Huey and Dewey were on the Pond Wall but had started their morning constitutional, then they decided to jump in the water and get in a quick swim. Two Mallards did remain on the Pond Wall. Harry was just Harry…still as a portrait, watching for a fish. The mist was really lovely and moving quite nicely across the Pond from North to South. As mentioned, this is the time of year for us in the Deep South to keep a watchful eye on the tropics as we have a couple of ‘disturbances’ that bear watching. We aren’t on the Gulf Coast but close enough to get some significant weather if the track and timing is right. Do any of y’all live in areas where you get seasonal storminess? We always keep an eye on the animals of Pondlandia, as they feel the air pressure lower when storms are near and know when and where to take cover! Y’all have a most excellent Friday and remember to stay safe, stay health, and always, always BE KIND! “Elf Out!”
"Harry Catches a LEETLE Bitty Fish"
Thursday August 20 2020
We ‘snuck’ up on Harry this morning and actually saw him catch a fish…it was a tiny little thing…a morsel more or less. But, when we saw him on the South Bank, he was hunkered down right in the water at the edge, all hunched over to spear something. And sure enough, he did. The ‘folks’ were kinda upside down this morning..Harry on the South Bank, Huey, Dewey and the Mallards on the North Pond Wall. You can get a really quick glimpse of Patrick, the Green Heron, as he flies onto the West Bank. The day began on the cloudy and coolish side again, but we understand our fall-tinted weather will return to the heat of summer for the next several days. Oh well, we have enjoyed this brief respite, for sure. There were a few deer on the North levee when we got our first look at Pondlandia this morning, but as soon as they saw a human bein’, they took off. Maybe we can find them tomorrow! We wish you a great Weekend Eve, this Thursday and hope you remain health, safe and are able to practice the art of kindness every single day.
"Feeling the Touch of Fall...Just a Tiny Bit"
Wednesday August 19 2020
We know that August in Mississippi is one of the most hot and humid months we have; yet, with the slowly decreasing daylight and some of the other telltale signs of the approaching fall, we sure begin to anticipate its arrival. Today, we saw another indication of one of our favorite times of the year as there were 7 Mallards at the Pond this morning,souring the ground for whatever tasty foods they could find (along with that cup or two of corn). And, Huey and Dewey were on hand, not paying one bit of attention to the growing group of Mallards. We do know that will change on occasion but that’s all in a duck’s day. We must have been talking too loud because some of the Mallards took off and flew over to the Pond wall. We once again flushed them as we walked out on DuckFeather Pointe to check out the statue that was Harry. Patrick, the Green Heron, was also along the Pond wall and took off as well. It was fun to think about all of the things fall means to us and has meant to us through time…so, what about you? When you were younger, how did you know fall was approaching? So, as this Wednesday rolls by, we wish you to be safe, healthy, and always always kind. Happy Hump Day. “Elf Out!”
"Walkin' with Huey and Dewey"
Tuesday August 18 2020
We Welcome this Tuesday with open arms and a happy heart…it is a coolish and cloudless morning. Not much action on the Pond but enough to enjoy. We did manage to walk along with Huey and Dewey as they made their morning trek from the South Bank to the Pond Wall. They have a routine that they follow every day that keeps them in good duck shape. Early in the morning, they walk from their night roosting place (somewhere on the North Levee) to the South Bank where they nosh with fellow ducks and squirrels and get a cup of corn. That done, they parade back on over to the North Levee where they spend a considerable amount of time grooming their feathers and getting cleaned up for the day. In the meantime, Harry is secure in his spot on DuckFeather Pointe, waiting for just the right fish to wander by. We hope that your routine is a good one as well and that you face the day with anticipation of a good one. Just remember to stay safe, stay healthy and BE KIND! “Elf Out!”
"With Apologies to Forrest Gump"
Monday August 17 2020
Remember the famous line from the movie “Forrest Gump”? Well, we amend it slightly this morning to “Pondlandia is like a box of chocolates; you never know who’s going to show up.” We had a potpourri of creatures today, so let’s get on with it. Actually, we start this video off with some footage of the storm that we had last night; it’s pretty dramatic and we know the Pond was happy to get the rains. So, first we saw the Mystery Mallards, then we manage to get a quick clip of Patrick (the Green Heron). O/C (Opal/Casper) the Great White Egret was once again perched in one of the Six Sisters Cypress trees and we are always happy to see this stunning bird. Though youc an barely see him, Harry, the Great Blue Heron, is on the north levee just to the right of the overflow drain—hard to see, but he’s there. And finally, our stalwart pair, Huey and Dewey were found getting in a few steps in the morning constitutional. One of the Mystery Mallards must have decided to get a ‘mist bath’ by flying into the fairly thick mist and getting all humidified. Nothing like a little moisture to perk up those feathers. And, finally, the mist itself was a faster moving ‘body’ than yesterday, a direct result of cooler temperatures and drier air that moved in after the storm. Wow! What a morning. Hope everyone has a most wonderful start to this week; stay safe, stay healthy, and always always BE KIND. “Elf Out!”
P.S. We regret our hand in the video but the sun was blinding us!! We'll figure out a way to remove things like that another day!
"And One More Thing...Twice!"
Sunday August 16 2020
We sure didn’t expect all of the things that occurred today…and what a lovely beginning to this day. Once again, a really nice surprise lurked in one of the cypress trees and we ALMOST missed it!! Just goes to show you that keeping your eyes and heart open often results in a something really cool. We have not seen Opal/Casper (or O/C) in a while to video; remember we did see him/her on an afternoon walk when we did not have our camera. He did not escape the camera today, for sure and we were delighted to get some good footage of him. The other water/shore fowl were around. Huey and Dewey, Harry, and Three Mystery Mallards. We had almost given up of having O/C up close and personal until we saw the reflection as we were leaving DuckFeather Pointe. He does look like he’s hanging from a trapeze, doesn’t he. Oh well, we thought it would give folks a chance to see him closer, even if upside down. We wish y’all a great Sunday; stay safe, stay healthy, and BE KIND to one another.
Saturday August 15 2020
We approached Pondlandia this morning with all the anticipation of another day filled with surprises, new faces, and some ‘wake-up’ activities. Sadly, there were none…things were much quieter and more subdued than yesterday. No new ducks, no deer, and no Opal/Casper. We had our usual suspects who we are always happy to see. Harry took off from DuckFeather Pointe quickly, so we didn’t really get much of a visit. The coolest thing about this morning was the rather fast moving mist across the Pond. The air was less humid, so the mist was heavier and more prevalent. It’s always quite lovely to watch drift over the water and swirl about. So, we hope you have a most wonderful Saturday and remember to stay safe, stay healthy, and always, always BE KIND. Elf Out!
"Right Place, Right Time"
Friday August 14 2020
WHAT A MORNIN’!! Just when you think that it’s gonna be a ‘same song, second chorus’ in Pondlandia, we get some wonderful surprises! And, with your videographer being such a rank amatuer, one surprise we completely bungled, so you’ll just have to take our word for it. Remember yesterday we had three Mystery Mallards, well, this morning we had four. And we got to see the sunrise over Pondlandia with Harry in the foreground. It was quite lovely; we set our intentions and moved off DuckFeather Pointe. AND THEN, we noticed a little deer, so we HAD to film her AND THEN, we noticed about 6 ducks circling the pond. They do that a few times to make sure it’s safe to land, well…they did and we at least captured the landing. What we failed miserably to capture was the Duckapalooza reunion that took place on the South Bank when this new flock (Mallards) bounded to land and were greeted by their buddies. We did get it on film but it was so blurry, it made us dizzy. Oh well, lesson learned. We DID manage to get a good still photo, though. You can see that as our intro picture!! Howsomever, it was all in all a special morning. What a nice start to the weekend!! Have a special Friday; stay safe, stay healthy, and always, always be kind.
"The Lovely Look and Sound of Rain"
Thursday August 13 2020
What a lovely morning in Pondlandia. It’s raining…not a hard driving rain but a gentle reminder of how much we enjoy seeing it fall and caress the Pond and its beings with life. We sure needed this, not only for the moisture but also for the peaceful sound of drops hitting the leaves and the water itself; water meeting water. We had three Mallards on the South Bank and Huey and Dewey on the North Pondlandia Pond Wall. It looks as if we will have this rain with us most of the morning, if not longer. Poor Big Solid will miss his golf game but he will also enjoy the softness of the rain. We hope you have a most special Thursday as the weekend is almost upon us. Stay safe, Stay healthy, and always always Be Kind. Elf Out!
Wednesday August 12 2020
Hump Day is upon us already! It seems like we just started this week and now we are looking at the approaching end of it. So, we had a nice surprise this morning with finding no less than four Mallards at the Pond in addition to Huey and Dewey. Like we said, this is the beginning of the slow infiltration of additional ducks as the days shorten, even though they may be hot and humid. Mother Nature has such a wonderful way of guiding life through the seasons and giving signals of when it’s time to move from one environ to another. So, we were delighted to see these ‘newbies’ today to inject a little lift in our spirits…we hope you feel the same. The scene at DuckFeather Pointe, however, is unchanged with Harry’s presence dominant. He sure can be still!! We hope you enjoy this day as we begin to round out this second week of August and we wish you safe keeping, healthy minds and bodies, and forever the resolve to be kind.
"Just When You Think...""
Tuesday August 11 2020
This time of the year in Mississippi is a time when people long for a change in the weather…you know how folks who live in a cold climate wish for spring and summer. Like, ‘if I see another snowflake, I’m gonna scream’. Well, are the opposite...if we have to go through another week of heat indices topping 105º, we will melt! So, we were delighted this morning to be surprised a pair of Mallards…you’ll see. AND, we got a chance to see Patrick take off across the Pond to the levee and THEN if you look really close after he lands on the levee, you’ll se a second Green Heron greet him. We think that’s Patricia. Right after that, they are seen in a couples flight across the Pond. How fun!! So, what a great start to the day on this Tuesday! We hope you have a equally good start as well as an entire day! Remember to stay safe, stay healthy, and be kind!! MSVO ElfOut!
"Hot August Mornin'...UGH!"
Monday August 10 2020
Even though we were out early this morning, the muggies were with us. Nevertheless, we found Huey and Dewey taking a leisurely tour up the West Bank of the Pond, scouring for whatever delicacies, they could find for a breakfast snack. Our little Mystery Mallard wasn’t quite as adventuresome, preferring to stay closer to the South bend near the drain pipe. If you spot a man and his chihuahua walking along the road, that’s Big Solid, husband of the Elf and his faithful little buddy Mikey Tyson. We typically do not film folks (and would NEVER do so without permission) but he’s an exception. We got a good view of the Six Sisters Cypresses (not ‘sick’ sisters) that draw folks to DuckFeather Pointe and also shot some video to use in our Great Trees of Pondlandia vlog coming soon. Harry the Great Blue was in his usual spot, patiently waiting for a nice breakfast fish to swim by. So, we are off on another week in Pondlandia and we wish you all a good start as well. Stay cool, stay safe, stay healthy and always, always be kind. Elf Out!
"Busy Pondlandian Morning"
Sunday August 9 2020
Well, as predicted, our cool, dry air has been replaced by increased heat and moisture—a southern combination that defies defies accuracy of description…other than less than tolerable. Yet, we seem to thrive in the early hours of the morning and the waning hours at the end of the day. This morning, we seemed to have everyone on DuckFeather Pointe. Sure made for some good video! We had Harry, Huey, Dewey, and Mystery Mallard (who came in on a nice landing amongst them)..all gathered in close proximity, enjoying the opportunity for some cool shade provided by the Six Sister Cypresses. So, all we needed to do was set our intentions, stumble through the date (it IS August 9th) and be on our merry way. So, on this Sunday, please have a wonderful day; stay safe, stay healthy, and be kind to one another. It’s how we’ll get through all this. Elf Out!
"The Six Cypress Sisters" Pondlandia
Saturday August 8 2020
You know we’ve been working on a little vlog about the Great Trees of Pondlandia; we hope to have it ready to share soon. We’d be totally remiss to omit the Six Cypress Sisters that grace the entrance to DuckFeather Pointe. Not only are they stunning just to look at, with their towering branches, feathery leaves, and year ‘round beauty (their fall colors are stunning), they also provide shelter and housing for so many of the Pondlandian birds. The Herons (Patrick, Harry and on occasion Opal/Casper) are particularly fond of hanging out ‘upstairs’…must be a really great view. So, here we stand on this warm and humid Saturday with Huey, Dewey, and Harry; all’s right with our world and we wish the same for you. Stay safe, stay healthy, and be kind.
"Our Halcyon Days are Over" Pondlandia
Friday August 7 2020
We took a bit of a different walk this morning across the levee at North Pondlandia. We spotted Huey and Dewey slowing paddling over from the South Bank, so we thought we’d track them and see what they were up to. As it turned out, not much but just a slow relaxed ‘drive’; then they started this head bobbing behavior…we don’t know if Huey told Dewey a joke and they were laughing or if they were having a contest to see who could bob heir neck the most without stopping.Who knows the mind of a duck. In the meantime, we also spotted Patrick, the Green Heron, perched on the overflow drain AND, as almost always, Harry the Great Blue Heron on the tip end of DuckFeather Pointe. It almost seemed like Huey and Dewey wanted a lot of ‘air time’ today as they were paddling by DuckFeather Pointe as we were filming Harry. We also managed to get Mikey Tyson in on the action this morning. He loves to cross the levee…lots of great smells. And, yes, our wonderfully cool and dry mornings are ending today…at least that’s what the weather folks say. Starting this afternoon, the heat will return with mid-90’s AND, to make it more uncomfortable, the humidity will bring back the muggy air. HOWSOMEVER, we’ll deal with it and redouble our efforts to stay healthy, safe, and above all, kind. Have a great Friday, Y’all. Elf Out!
"You Gotta Be Kiddin' Me!" Pondlandia
Thursday August 6 2020
Today was such a treat!! Even though we were bereft of many of our Pondlandian friends, namely Harry and Patrick, we had SUCH a fun and nice visit! This morning, the temperature was 62º—THAT’S SIXTY TWO!! Our typical early morning low this time of year is in the mid-70’s with air so thick one can hardly breathe! For our out-of-state followers, what about where you live?? Anywho, we did have Huey and Dewey on the Pond Wall and the ‘socially distant’ Mystery Mallard. Howsomever, the ‘star’ of Pondlandia today was the lovely and graceful mist that slowly wove it’s was across the Pond. Such a peaceful and elegant flow; almost like getting a loving massage (and yes, that's massage and not message though it could be both) for your soul. We especially wish to thank Rebecca Donovan for having us on her show on MS Super Talk radio. Her show is titled “Good Things”. OK, everybody..have a most wonderful Thursday. Remember to stay safe, stay healthy, and always be kind. “MSVO Elf Out!”
"A Wonderfully Cool Wednesday Morning" Pondlandia
Wednesday August 5 2020
The morning temperatures for the past few days have been quite lovely…coolish (in the upper 60’s) and less humid. We are most grateful for that as we know in our bones that the heat will come later in the day. And, if the truth be told, we’d like to see some rain!! However, we will celebrate yet another day with Huey, Dewey, and who we will now call our Mystery Mallard…esconced on the South Bank, just being ducks. On DuckFeather Pointe, we find Harry who is at his most ultimate stillness. We can appreciate his ability to be silent and still; seems like we could all use that during these hectic times. There was just the hint of a mist moving softly across the pond, offering us ‘stillness in motion’. Y’all have a most wonderful Wednesday; we look forward to talking with you again tomorrow!
"Tuesdays with Feathered Friends" Pondlandia
Tuesday August 4 2020
It seems as though August has gotten off to a cooler start than usual, but we think that is about to come to an abrupt end. Forecast temperatures over the next few days promise mid-90’s and we are also pretty sure that the humidity will also be high. If you look at the sky, you can see that it too is paler than usual and that’s a telltale sign of the water droplets (aka humidity) gathering to help fade out the usual brilliant blue. That does NOT deter our buddies, though, as they proceed through their daily routine of cleaning their feathers, finding something to eat, resting, and flying around. Just as we have our FOUR daily intentions, they no doubt have some of their own. What do you think they could or would be? Have a spectacular Tuesday, y’all. Stay safe, stay healthy, and be kind. MSVO “Elf Out”!
"First Monday, Bright Sunshine" Pondlandia
Monday August 3 2020
Welcome MONDAY Everybody!! We hope that you join us for this week’s adventures in Pondlandia. We also have some other projects to share soon. Today found Harry (the Great Blue Heron) again on the South Bank of the Pond. With such a bright sun and cloudless sky today, we think he might be enjoying the shade and probably finding it easier to spot a fish without the glare!! If you look close, you can see Huey and Dewey heading over to the North levee area—you can probably spot them through the Gazebo. We caught up with them on DuckFeather Pointe. And finally, the little lone Mallard hen (Ruby?) just chillin’ under the Pondlandian Tree of Souls and in the Pond over near the levee. We wish all a very good Monday and as always, stay safe, stay healthy, and be kind. ‘Elf Out!’
"Celebrating a Quiet Sunday" Pondlandia
Sunday August 2 2020
We found Harry in the standing in the Pond at a place he doesn’t usually haunt…the Southwest corner AND in another flip-flop, Huey and Dewey were paddling around out in the middle of the Pond along with a Mallard hen (could be Ruby). No clashes or duck wars though…thankfully! Patrick blew out from an unknown spot, as he is wont to do! We look forward to this day of rest and relaxation and rely on our Pondlandian connection to help keep us grounded in what is important and what we can let go. Basically, living in and celebrating each moment we have. Happy Sunday Y’all!!
"Welcoming a Cool August" Pondlandia
Saturday August 1 2020
We said yesterday that we would welcome August with open arms and a warm heart…well, we most certainly have a spectacular beginning to a month that is typically known for the heat and humidity that drains all of your energy. NOT TODAY, howsomever! It’s a lovely, breezy, cloudy and cool day that greets all Pondlandians this morning. We kinda snuck up on Harry this morning and didn’t see him right off the bat. Consequently, by the time we got our camera ready and began to film him, we scared him off. But, you can see how he has the whole pond at his wingtips as he heads out toward DuckFeather Pointe. And that’s exactly where we picked him back up along with Huey and Dewey and Patrick. We hope you have a good start to August as well and, remembering our daily intentions, to stay safe, stay healthy, and always be kind. ‘MSVO Elf Out!”
"Goodbye July" Pondlandia
Friday July 31 2020
Well some days just seem exactly like the day before…today is no exception, well, unless you consider the paucity of ‘pond critters’. We had three ducks out today; Huey and Dewey plus a lone Mallard we almost did not see. Not Harry, not Patrick, not Opal/Casper, not strangers travelin’ through. We did have our nice breeze, lower humidity, and cloud cover that helped us start the day in relative comfort. And so it goes…as we bid goodbye to July, we anticipate August with some trepidation as it is usually our hottest and driest month. Yet, we welcome August with open arms and a kind heart. Have a most special Friday. MSVO Elf, “Elf out”!
"Breezy with Ripples" Pondlandia
Thursday July 30 2020
WHAT A WONDERFUL MORNIN’!! Cloudy with a nice southern breeze that makes the Pond ripple and the Spooky Spikey Woods sing with their leaves. We should really let the videos speak for themselves today as anything we should say would be superfluous. Only one thing, we must correct a misspoken date when we set our intentions…we said AUGUST instead of JULY!! Looks like our brain was thinking too far ahead..we did get it right when we were visiting with Huey and Dewey. Nevertheless, this lovely morning has caressed our heart and soul with a most excellent outlook today. We sure hope you have the same feeling! MSVO ‘Elf out’!
"Peace and Stealth" Pondlandia
Wednesday July 29 2020
Good Hump Day Morning to all the friends and fans of Pondlandia!! We had such a lovely visit this morning…it was overcast and delightfully cool!! Something we all appreciate in late July with hot August days and nights bearing down on us. But today, we have a reprieve and can linger at the Pond and on DuckFeather Pointe to see our buddies in action. We are not sure if this little Mallard hen is Ruby but she sure has settled in. And Huey is curious about her but not the typical bully; Dewey didn’t follow Huey out of the Pond and we are slightly concerned. The two of them are typically inseparable or at least only a short time. We will watch Huey carefully over the next few days to see if he continues to isolate more. We could not find Harry anywhere, or so we thought. We wandered on over to DuckFeather Pointe, watching for him in all his usual haunts. We were so involved in looking OUT for him, we almost walked up on him tucked along the north bank of DF Pointe, crouched at the ready to snag his breakfast. We did manage to interrupt his stealth, however, for which we apologize. He sashayed over to the tip of the Pointe and adjusted his outlook. He was none the worse for the disturbance. And so it goes, another day of Peace and Stealth in Pondlandia. As always, stay safe, stay healthy, and be kind. “Elf out’!
"The Calm Before the Calm" Pondlandia
Tuesday July 28 2020
One of the qualities of Pondlandia is the invitation to relax and let a little bit of calmness drift over you. Today’s cloudy skies and coolish temperatures sure do surround us with that feeling of well-being…and in today’s world, that’s a blessing. We have no surprises today; Huey and Dewey greeted us with welcoming quacks while the little Mallard hens were a little less enthusiastic but present nevertheless. It took a second look around to eventually find Harry but he was there on the Pond. The Pond itself is clearing up as the mirror images reflect without a ripple in the water. And so, we begin this last Tuesday in July with a with soft anticipation of a day without turmoil and stress; only good stuffs. Have that same kind of day yourownself.
"The Last Monday in JULY!" Pondlandia
Monday July 27 2020
Well, yes it's the last Monday in July though I said AUGUST in the video!! What a stupidhead! Don't need to speed up time any more than it's already flying by!! And speaking of flying, we have only our ducks today at our rather late visit. Huey and Dewey as well as either two Mallard hens OR a hen and a juvenile drake. We did drop Marley The Wayward Poodle off at the vet to see if we can figure out what's going on with him. So, we missed our typical crew that's active much earlier in the day. This week will be one of intermittent rain and somewhat cooler temperatures. That's fine by us!! Y'all have a wonderful start to this last week of July! MSVO 'Elf Out!'
"More Rain, More 'Clearer'!" Pondlandia
Saturday July 25 2020
Well, it's a lovely Saturday morning for several reasons! YES! We got more rain last night, thanks to the outer bands of Tropical Storm Hannah! THEN, the Pond was very quiet this morning with almost everyone just really settled in for a morning nap (with TWO notable exceptions), AND FINALLY, we had a nice variety of feathered friends on hand...Huey and Dewey, of course; a sweet little Mallard hen, and Harry on DuckFeather Pointe. Then all of a sudden we see Patrick and Patricia (Green Herons) playing tag and flying all over the place. We are supposed to get additional rain for the next few days, so we are pretty sure the Pond will be much improved; and we will not be so brutally hot and humid. We could NOT be happier. So as we roll on through this weekend, we celebrate the rain and hope it washes COVID19 AWAY! I the meantime, stay safe, stay cool, and be kind. MSVO Elf saying 'Elf out'!
"What a Difference a Rain Makes!" Pondlandia
Friday July 24 2020
GOOD FRIDAY MORNING!! WOW! We had a nice rain that REALLY helped the Pond last night, not to mention all of Pondlandia! And this morning, the skies are cloudy with a cool breeze just making life really sweet. The 'fur kids' are home, 'Big Solid' is volunteering at a local food pantry, and MSVO Elf is solo today. We probably babble on too long but it was such a nice morning. Huey and Dewey were also quite talkative; Harry was scoping out both the South Bank and DuckFeather Pointe, AND we even got a quick glimpse of Patrick (the Green Heron) as he perched on the drain pipe before taking off. And, though we missed the comet NEOWISE, we have decided to BE the comet when it returns in 6800 years!! Remember our intentions as we set our sights on the day and stay cool, calm, and collected in the face of all this stress. Y'all have a most wonderful Friday. If it stays cool and nice most of the day, we may even have an evening video! MSVO Elf saying 'Elf out'!
"Four Ducks and a Heron" Pondlandia
Thursday July 23 2020
GOOD THURSDAY Morning!! We have a little complement of feathered friends this morning. Huey and Dewey along with two Mallard hens grace and graze on the South Bank as Harry the Great Blue Heron is perched on the drain pipe waiting for some breakfast. It's a very warm and muggy morning as we slowly but surely approach the weekend. And, YES, the Pond still looks pretty sad with all the overgrowth of nitrogen fed 'stuffs'. We understand that not only do we need some rain to provide a new supply of oxygen but an aerator would also be helpful to continue the movement and re-oxygenation of the water. So keep your fingers crossed that both of those events occur!! In the meantime, we wish you a good Thursday and say as always, be safe, be well, and be kind. 'MSVO Elf' saying, until tomorrow, 'Elf Out!'
"New Ducks, Old Ducks" Pondlandia
Wedneday July 22 2020
Good Wednesday morning Y'all!! Hump Day it is and we do have some new ducks to visit this day. They appear to be Mallard hens but if anyone out there knows better, please let us hear from you. And, we have a Pond update as well, even though the pond is still looking pretty 'wore out', we did find out that the cloudiness and floating islands of 'stuffs' are related to a cyclical response to the intense heat as well as the efforts to control a bad week via poisoning. The result has been an increase in the nitrogen level that in turn invites the growth of these islands. These will eventually dissipate and the Pond will be ever so much prettier. In the meantime, we all endure this because we know the end result will be worth it. Huey and Dewey dont' seem the least bit worried nor does Harry. So, we'll rock along with them and look on the Bright Side!! Y'all have a most wonderful day; we'll see/talk to you tomorrow. The is the MSVO Elf saying "Elf out!"
"ONE YEAR AGO" Pondlandia
Sunday July 21 2019 as Tuesday July 21 2020
We are bringing you this video from one year ago, July 21 2019. It was a Sunday BECAUSE the Pond was SO nasty looking (and smelling) we just couldn't post it. We are hopeful that it's a cyclical event but as you can see, a year ago, the Pond was a lot clearer. SO! You'll notice a couple of things; first, a year ago, we only had THREE intentions that we set, whereas now there are FOUR. And, in the last part of the video (which includes a brief glimpse of Ed the Chihuahua) there were 3 domestic ducks instead of our current two (Huey and Dewey). The Chinese Crested duck was named Louise and she crossed that Duck Rainbow Bridge just before Thanksgiving in November 2019. She was quite the character and we still miss her. Keep your fingers crossed that the Pond will clear up a bit so we can get back to our current time. If not, then we'll trip down Memory Lane again tomorrow. MSVO Elf saying 'Elf Out!'
"Monday Already" Pondlandia
Monday July 20 2020
My goodness here we are at Monday, July 20th!! We took a bit of a different view today for a couple of reasons...one, it's just nice to see things from another angle or viewpoint. That goes for more than just a video, don't you think? AND, the second and more compelling reason is that the Pond is taking on that 'summer sluggishness' where the long hours of heat help all sorts of growths occur that may eventually be helpful to the overall Pondliness BUT sure don't look very pretty. So we found Patrick over in East Pondlandia and decided to walk the levee from East to West. Along the way, we spotted Harry at the tip end of DuckFeather Pointe cleaning his feathers and Huey and Dewey taking advantage of the shade to just paddle around slowly. Such is a morning in mid-July--slow and lazy with the promise of a really hot afternoon. Y'all stay safe, healthy and kind until we meet tomorrow. MS Very Own Elf saying 'Elf Out!'
"Sunday All Around" Pondlandia
Sunday July 19 2020
The Spookey Spikey Woods of North Pondlandia really REALLY called to us today; it was so hot even around 7:30 this morning we just felt like setting up a chair and sitting in these glorious woods all day. BUT, then we'd miss our other friends...namely Harry the Great Blue Heron who continues to make DuckFeather Pointe his launching pad for breakfast and a great view of the Pond. Finally, we could not help but show you more of our 'Turtle Tree' aka Oak-Heart the Elder as we wound down our daily Pondlandian visit.
"Sweet Rainy Night" Pondlandia
Saturday July 18 2020
Well, we had such a nice refreshing rain last night; the earth was so thirsty and today is so grateful. The Pond is still a bit on the sluggish side, but as it absorbs the summer heat, all sorts of things grow up and out. That, however, doesn't stop our friends from making their way around, over, and across Pondlandia. Most are in search of food, some (as in Huey and Dewey) want to be territorial, and others, like the two little Mallard hens, just want to paddle around and stay cool. Harry, always like a statue, was in hopes of finding some breakfast as was Patrick, who may be really hard to see. He's a smaller heron and is well camouflaged. We hope you enjoy today's visit to Pondlandia and will return tomorrow to see what new has evolved over the day and night. Have a most glorious day and always remember to be kind.
"Sunny Day, Cloudy Pond" Pondlandia
Friday July 17 2020
Good Morning Everybody!! Welcome to Friday in Pondlandia. As you can see, the pond looks like it was 'rode hard and put up wet!'--an old Southern expression for tired and worn out. But, this too shall pass and soon some soothing and refreshing rains will clear all that out. BUT!! We do have Harry the Great Blue Heron, Huey and Dewey, and little lonesome Ruby on hand to greet the day. No matter what, make this a great day for yourself and those you know...be safe and be kind. See you tomorrow!
"Cloudy and Slow" Pondlandia
Thursday July 16 2020
Today, July 16th, we find activity in Pondlandia a bit on the slow side BUT Huey and Dewey seem to be bound and determined to chase Ruby (the little Mallard hen) around the pond. Out on DuckFeather Pointe, you'll notice it's a bit cloudy and somewhat cooler than it's been these past few days. We are MOST grateful for that. And FINALLY, we introduce many of you to 'The Turtle Tree' (big old tree whose trunk looks like a turtle). He even 'talks'. He's been around for a long time and knows how to survive just about anything, so he's giving us a little pep talk. We hope you enjoy our Chronicles of Pondlandia as much as we enjoy bringing them to you!!
"Hot Doesn't Even Begin..." Pondlandia
Wednesday July 15 2020
It's Wednesday everybody!! What a glorious day but a HOT ONE!! Not much action this morning but we do find Huey and Dewey paddling around. No Harry to be seen BUT we did find Ruby (the little Mallard Hen) all alone on DuckFeather Pointe. If you look closely, you can see the ripples on the water which shows a slight breeze, which feels wonderful. So, another day in Pondlandia!! We hope you have a day filled with smiles and an opportunity to be kind. See you tomorrow!!
"Launching on You Tube" Pondlandia
Monday July 13 2020
NOW WE'VE GONE AND DONE IT!!I We've started a You Tube channel for The Chronicles of Pondlandia!! We invited everyone to join it and never miss a thrilling minute of life in the slow lane. SEE!!
"Duck Doldrums" Pondlandia
Saturday July 11 2020
As we work on establishing our Pondlandia You Tube channel, we will endeavor to keep everyone up to date with our friends and ensuing shenanigans. That being said, trust Your Elf when she says that the heat and added humidity will slow down the shenanigan actions quite a bit. For example, this morning, Huey and Dewey could, as it appeared, have cared less at Ruby's proximity to them. All they seemed to be interested in was cleaning their feathers and maybe a nap following.
Harry located off DuckFeather Pointe today and decided fishing would be best from the levee.
But NOTHING was more representative of this time of the year than Golden Pond ITSELF! It was the poster child or gold standard for SLUGGISH and thick and slow and tired. And this was at 7 in the morning!!
And so it goes...we will continue to stress the call to be kind, to help each other out, to provide a smile when you might not want to, and to heed the needs of your neighbors. In other words, as one of our intentions states, 'DO EPIC"!
"What's a Ruby to Do?"" Pondlandia
Friday July 10 2020
Apologies are in order for NOT posting for a couple of days. We are trying to get a handle on how to navigate our Elfspeaks website and maximize it's access. Turns out, we'll be locating a lot of our videos onto a YouTube channel to cut down on the sluggishness of posting directly to The Chronicles page on Elfspeaks. We'll continue to post on here as we grapple with understanding how to do what we just said!
In the meantime, rest comfortably in the fact that 'you ain't missed a THANG' as life in Pondlandia slows down and creeps along during these summer months. Today's heat index will approach 115º which is dangerous. This morning at 6: 30, when we made this video, the temperature was already 77º BUT the humidity was 96%. Y'all, that's just wrong. As we write this now at 12:15, the air temp is 87º with humidity at 77% bringing the heat index (or feel) at 105º.
Huey and Dewey were being really nasty to Ruby this morning; their feelin's must be hurt from her hanging out with Daffy. And, the still shot is a reminder that sometimes, even the smallest of things are beautiful...this toadstool no doubt offering shelter and shade to some tiny elves or roly polys.
Take care and stay cool, healthy and home!
"Peaceful, Easy" Pondlandia
Monday July 6 2020
We welcome the first FULL week of July with this Monday. Once again, we were greeted by our pals gathered on the South Bank. There is such a peaceful vibe here this morning with no fussin, feudin' and fightin'. Everyone was quite into doing their own thing, be it sleeping, foraging, or fishing.
We hope this week brings some relief to this time of upset and anxiety...to the extent we can be a little less unsettled. The attempts to complete the intentions always makes a difference in how you feel. When one does something nice or kind for someone else, it just naturally makes some tension flow away.
Y'all have a really good Monday!
“The Calm AFTER the Storms”
Sunday July 5 2020
We have survived the fireworks of the Fourth both the man-made and Mother Earth made. This morning's walk was in a very pleasant coolness we don't often get this time of year; the heavy rains and thunder from yesterday's storms provided a much appreciated buffer for the firecrackers. Unfortunately, for many veterans and animals, the sounds are terrifying.
The duck family has gathered on the South Bank now for the past week and today was no exception: Huey and Dewey were sound asleep with the heads tucked under their wings while about 5 Mallards were pecking along the ground for something tasty. Harry the Great Blue once again posted himself on the tip of DuckFeather Pointe. No Patrick or Opal/Casper noticed though no doubt somewhere close by. Have a most spectacular Sunday from all of us here in Pondlandia.
Yes Indeedy!! It's Party Time for America, the Good Ole US of A! The land we call home. This most likely will be a little more of a subdued party because of all the COVID19 issues. And though we have been through the proverbial wringer thee past few months, we KNOW in our little Elfin heart that there will be a turning point to this turmoil, borne of kindness, patience, endurance, and belief in the our future.
So, take a look at our little Pondlandia today; do these inhabitants look worried? They may be but they don't let get to them. So let's us try to enjoy this holiday without the pervasive stress and celebrate who we are!
Our "Little Rememberin' Tree" stands tall and proud to be a reminder of all the great things we have to be grateful for and to celebrate. He stands sentinel at the threshold of Pondlandia and we are ever so glad to see him every day!!
“HAPPY 244th BIRTHDAY 'MERICA!!!”
Saturday July 4 2020
“The Calm Before the Storm”
Friday July 2 2020
Yep, this is a Holiday weekend, so lots of activity will occur in the Pondlandian neighborhood; cookouts, gatherings, and fireworks. We are not big fireworks fans as it scares the fur kids to death and doesn’t do our feathered friends much good either. Pretty sure ducks don’t like anything that sounds Iike a gun! That being said, we had a nice gathering on the South Bank today—Huey and Dewey with no Ruby in tow; Ruby, Daffy, and The Bachelor; and, of course, Harry.
We here in Pondlandia wish everyone a safe, happy, healthy and COVID free weekend.
Thursday July 2 2020
On a deceptively cool-ish morning, we watched an interesting situation unfold in the ongoing saga of Huey/Dewey/Ruby and Daffy. You can watch in the first video how H/D went after Daffy as he glided toward the South Bank. You can see by their ‘attitude’ (necks out, paddlin’ hard) they meant ‘bidness’ about ridding themselves of Daffy’s presence. You can see how Daffy slowly but surely turns his way back toward to South Bank; Huey and Dewey follow and then decide to grab some yummy eats along the bank, burying their heads underwater, paying no attention to Ruby up on the bank.
Welp—watch what happens next. We had stopped filming but when we noticed that Daffy had eased over to Ruby, we began the film again. You know, we believe in that animals are sentient beings and be hornswoggled if we don’t think this was a result of problem-solving behavior. When we finally left, Ruby and Daffy were grazing away by themselves ad H/D were still chowing down at the South Bank. We’ll see if this Duckly Subterfuge is sustained all day.
"A Refresher on Intentions"
Wednesday July 1 2020
It occurred to us the other day that several of our newer viewers may not be familiar with the four ‘intentions’ that we set daily. As we move to the ever increasing heat and humidity of the next few months, our current levels of anxiety, discomfort, and tension will be further challenged. We have choices to make on a daily basis that impact the people and world around us, so making good decisions about how to make and manage our actions is often a struggle.
As we walked an abbreviated Pondlandia route today due to some rain, we felt the presence of Pondlandia constance...things we can count on every day and that offer us a sense of stability. Huey and Dewey (though we know their days are numbered as are all our days); the great trees of Pondlandia (Toto the ‘African Tree’, the Pondlandian Tree of Souls, and our Spookey Spikey Woods); the Pond itself, the resident shore birds (Harry and OC) and the anticipation of seasonal fowl that come and go.
Every day, we pause at some point (or Pointe) along the way to ‘set our intentions to help us keep moving toward the positive. They are as follows:
To Love Somebody Forward — this simply means to take the high road when someone is unkind, argumentative, mean-spirited or otherwise inviting negative actions. The most frequent illustration is ‘a soft answer turns away wrath’. This in no way means to ‘wimp out’ but to respond in a manner that invites your antagonist to step back from that ledge of anger. It’s an answer that de-escalates the emotional build up and opens the door to more positive communication. And, it’s ain’t easy.
To Perform a Random Act of Kindness (RAOK) — this one is self-explanatory; often hard to do. But, man oh man, does it make a difference.
To Pay a Compliment to a Stranger — same as above AND you don’t have to fall all over yourself to pour on the sweetness. It could be something a easy as ‘cool shoes’, ‘nice smile’, or ‘you work really hard’. Nothing too personal or over-board-ish.
To ‘Do Epic’ — my ABSOLUTE favorite. It means to actively strive for your best effort at every thing you do. In other words, don’t waste your time with negative actions when the universe can offer so much more. This phrase comes from one of my favorite all time books, “Bright Side” by Kim Holden. You’ll just have to read it...truth be told, Big Solid loved it as well.
So there you have it, our intentions and what they offer or make up your very own!
Enjoy our great feathered friends too!!
"Pep Talk from Oak-Heart the Elder" Pondlandia
Monday June 29 2020
We were so thankful this morning for some cloud cover; it made our morning walk bearable, for sure. It also seemed like every time we’d get within filming distance of OC (Opal/Casper the Great White Egret), s/he would fly off. AND, of all birds, Harry stayed in the middle of the levee where we really couldn’t see him well. Our trusted love triangle was on hand, however, as was another pair of Mallards.
We don’t know about y’all but we’re getting pretty weary of this ongoing virus situation. There are only so many Netflix/Amazon Prime series we can tolerate, especially since we are approaching the time of year when bein’ under an air conditioned roof is not only a wish but a necessity.
As we were walking home, we passed our friend, OakHeart the Elder (previously known as The Turtle Tree). Since he is so very connected to this area, with his massive trunk and equally deep roots, he offered us some Heart-felt support. Hope you’ll give him a listen.
Hang in there...from all of Pondlandia!
"Goodbye Dust! Hello Heat!" Pondlandia
Sunday June 28 2020
And so we have this Sunday, our last Sunday of June…coolish this morning, heating up quickly. We had Mallards on hand that took off quickly; leaving Huey, Ruby, and Dewey in their ‘take off’ spray. Even Harry did not wish to stick around this morning as we tried to creep upn a bit closer. Sometimes, you gotta just let things be. We will do just that…Be Well, Be Mindful, Be Kind.
I wonder how the water birds/fowl deal with the heat and humidity; but wait, that’s kinda easy. All they have to do is jump into the Pond, swallow a bit of cool pond water (ugh), immerse their heads and bodies with a few quick dunks, and all is right with the world. For the shore birds, there is such shade under the many cypress and other trees, finding cover from the sun is not an issue. As for us, well, that’s a whole ‘nuther story. It’s like being dressed in clothing you took straight from the washing machine and slapped it on your body. You will never dry out even though the sun is blazing. The distressing part of this, for many of us, we are on the very, very front end of this…we won’t see relief until late October. I remember as a kid when there was no air conditioning, the heat didn’t seem so awful. And the sound of an attic fan pulling the nighttime air through the house was like taking a trip on the African Queen with Humphrey Bogart.
"Clouds, Dust, and Wet Air" Pondlandia
Saturday June 27 2020
The temperature this morning at 6 a.m. was 75º and I think the humidity was pretty close to that, if not more. Walking out a door outfitted with condensation, a cup of dark roast coffee in hand,we were immediately engulfed by a giant water balloon. The garden loved it and happily presented its bounty of okra, eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers, and assorted peppers with a “See what I did during the night!” and “Pick Me, Pick Me!” After ridding some okra blossoms of a gaggle of ants with some botanical spray that they don’t care for, we came back in to ready the fur kids and Big Solid for the morning trip to Pondlandia.
We encountered Patrick the Green Heron right off the bat as we walked towards the Spookey Spikey Woods; he was perched on a lurching pallet, once a nice roosting place for the ducks. He did not linger but we did get some film of him. He’s a flighty bird…pun intended.
Huey and Dewey were grooming themselves with such fervor, we wondered what they were getting all gussied up for…the weekend? Ruby’s return? With no Harry insight, we did not intend to go out on DuckFeather Pointe BUT we finally spotted him on the North Bank of DFP. His mastery of stillness the envy of those who must be busy.
Have a most pleasant, safe, healthy, and kind weekend.