Duck update

My duck Honey is still messing with me.  Yesterday at lunchtime she ate a little, but then went back to her duck island to groom and ignored me. The same thing happened at teatime.  Then she disappeared, and didn’t return to the pond until about 11 this morning. I doubt she’s sleeping in the vegetation; my theory (which is mine) is that she flies off somewhere to spend the night. At lunch today she again she ate a bit, seeming to be hungry, but then abandoned me for her duck island.


Today: eating mealworms, but competing with the sliders and goldfish, which she doesn’t like:The red eye is from a flash:

Reader Gregory sent this video in an email titled, “Can this be your future?” I’m not sure whether I’m delighted or horrified.


And, by the way, here’s an orchid that I’d like identified. It was given to me a few years ago, and every year it puts out lovely flowers like this. I have no idea if it’s a pure species or a hybrid. If you know, please answer in the comments below. Thanks!


  1. Stephanie Mayer
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Oncidium cultivar

  2. Barry Lyons
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Honey is testing your level of affection, apparently. Also, she’s playing hard to get.

  3. bbenzon
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    La Dona e mobile, ducks too, it would seem:

  4. GBJames
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 2:51 pm | Permalink


  5. Posted August 27, 2017 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the duckie posts! I love these as much as the squirrel escapades!

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    She’s two-timing you, boss. Clearly has another wealthy benefactor nearby. Call her Honey Golightly.

  7. Aaron Siek
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Agree with first commenter; the orchid is some kind of Oncidium cultivar. It looks a lot like one of the various “Wildcat” cultivars, but it’d be very hard to be sure if its identifying tag is gone. A very pretty flower, for sure!

    • Aaron Siek
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Just realized how appropriate the “Wildcar” moniker would be for this site! Check out, for example, Wildcat ‘Carmela’ for very similar flowers (there are a number of other Wildcat cultivars that are very close, as well.)

    • Diane G.
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 3:07 am | Permalink

      Very appropriate that Jerry would have a Wildcat cultivar. 🙂

  8. Mark R.
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    A fickle Honey.

    I’ve had dozens of orchids over the years, but I can never get them to re-flower. (Is that a word?) I don’t know the species, but I’m impressed that it flowers every year.

    Today, I think the turtle in the photo is a Northern map turtle (Graptemys geographica). It’s nice to know there are at least two turtle species in the pond.

    • Posted August 27, 2017 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      Have you ever administered orchid food? It helps.

    • Diane G.
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 3:10 am | Permalink

      “I think the turtle in the photo is a Northern map turtle ”

      Nice catch!

  9. Ken
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Typical teenager, Jerry!

    • Frank Bath
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      Oi! I was going to say that.

  10. Heather Hastie
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Honey is looking ever more gorgeous as her feathers grow.

    I took my nephew to feed the ducks when he was about four, and soon there were that many surrounding us, along with some black swans. The poor kid was terrified. He tried to run away, and of course they followed him.

    I eventually calmed him down and in the end he was thrilled that they ate out if his hand.

  11. Posted August 27, 2017 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    It looks like it might be Colmanara Wildcat. Colmanara is an intergeneric cross.

    The Oncidiinae subtribe of orchids has several genera of orchids that cross fairly readily and the crosses are often fertile so many of the intergeneric crosses are complicated with 3 or more genera in the mix. When I used to collect orchids they were my favorite kind.

    There are some very pretty orchids in the odontoglossum genus, but they are very difficult to keep alive. I have had a couple, but they didn’t live and were difficult to get to bloom. A colmanara has some of the Odontoglossum traits, but is easier to care for.

    • Posted August 31, 2017 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      Yes, it is a multi-generic hybrid of genera from the Oncidiinae. These hybrids often contain genes from cool-growing species, so they often don’t do well in midwestern summers. Yours looks great!

      I’m late to the party because I have been looking at the wild relatives of these in the Andes of Peru until today.

  12. Leigh
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Many years ago I woke up to a new bird sound. I was delighted to discover a flock of Pinyon Jays in the yard. The flock has grown over the years and now numbers about 50 individuals I call the ravening horde. I am no longer delighted.

    They are very noisy and fly into the yard as often as three times a day, staying until they eat whatever is in the offing. They have voracious appetites. Trying to feed these very large, hungry birds is becoming too expensive. I have resorted to putting feeders in cages so the small birds can get at the seeds.

    I am trying to be more tolerant of these Jays because according to the Cornell website the population is dwindling. I am kinds-sorta happy that the Jays have found a good home in the neighborhood.

    Be warned — feeding wild creatures might very well result is your being a host to your own ravening horde of ducks.

    • Posted August 27, 2017 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      That’s okay; I’d be glad to spend the dosh to help my animals, as I get more back in pleasure from them.

  13. Sarr
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Looks like an Oncidium hybrid, or a multi-generic hybrid with some Oncidium in it. It’s very pretty!

  14. Posted August 27, 2017 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    I think Honey has figured out your relationship with her is strictly platonic. So she’s probably leaving ample room for a more compatible suitor.

  15. starskeptic
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    What happens on Duck Island…stays on Duck Island.

    • Diane G.
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 3:12 am | Permalink


  16. Dale Franzwa
    Posted August 28, 2017 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    I agree with Ken, above, Honey is two-timing poor, loyal Jerry. Jerry’s competition is probably a couple of maverick mallards, Bret and Bart Mallard. Bart is the older brother and, I think, the ladies all agree, Bret is the cuter one. The Mallard brothers can be found on the various gambling stern-wheelers that ply the Chicago River. Wherever a poker game breaks out, there you’ll find a Mallard brother. Bret one week. Bart the other. And Honey, snuggling up to each one in turn. The Mallard brothers aren’t that bad. They do expose the double-dealers and card sharks on board these craft.

    But, when the game is over, Honey returns to Jerry, only to scold him and stay aloof on her little island. Ah, Jerry. Honey is indeed taking advantage of you. One day she’ll come back with a load of little ones, expecting you, faithful provider, to feed the whole clutch (is that the right term?).

    • Diane G.
      Posted August 29, 2017 at 3:14 am | Permalink

      Who is the tall dark stranger there…?

  17. Charles Sawicki
    Posted August 28, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Ducks need to grow up eventually and take care of themselves!

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