Hi !*First Name*!,

Geez, the past four years since the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic have been awful beyond description to say the least. But since I was never successfully attacked by the pathogen, things could have definitely been worse had that possibility materialized. I devised my own regime of precautionary measures that were centered around hunkering down at Shady Pond a location which gives new meaning to the concept of social distancing. I never once wore a mask which in time was proven to be an appropriate decision. Nonetheless, this entire episode proved to be a stunning demonstration of Darwin’s Law.

I have no idea why the outcome of the pandemic was so favorable for me. It may have been the result of good judgement and accurate instincts. It may have been genetic in nature since other close relatives had a similar experience. It may have come from the care giving I receive from my buddies, the ghosts of Shady Pond. Or, it may have just been luck.

Despite the absence of physiological challenges, there were dozens of other unrelated sources of misery. They included a seemingly endless list of machinery breakdowns that were in no way related to disease issues. There were massive Christmas tree losses resulting from excessive rainfall spanning a 3-year period. This required the use of a forest mulcher mounted on a Cat skid steer chassis to disposed of the remains. But the really big one came as a result of Hurricane Ida. It removed the roof from the office area adjoining the main house. This 25' X 50' structure remained under tarp for 9-months before repairs could be started and interior work and painting is yet to be done 16-months after the storm. And these unreasonable delays are the result of extremely limited construction resources in the local area coupled with out of control ‘pirateering’. And it is exacerbated by the use of a migrant work force that is almost totally unskilled. This is not good.

With all this being said, it is Christmas time once again, thank goodness. We all desperately need the warmth and magic it always brings. And we hope to see each of you again this year.

Merry Christmas,
Shady Pond Tree Farm

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    Christmas Tree Varieties:

  • Leyland Cypress-
    a stately beauty from England.

  • King William's Pine-
    a unique tree from the Orient.

  • Silver Smoke-
    a selection from New Zealand.

  • Carolina Sapphire-
    the aroma of lemon and mint.

  • Deodar Cedar-
    from the western Himalayas with silver needles.

  • Green Giant-
    coarse and soft with an amber tint.

  • Virginia Pine-
    the memories of Christmas past.

  • Eastern Redcedar-
    turns purple in winter.

Map to Shady Pond Tree Farm

Tree Farm Schedule:

The schedule is shown below. As always should a Christmas tree emergency arise, call ahead and we will make every effort to accommodate your needs.

2022 Season Schedule

An unexpected interlude with
Canada Geese
Branta canadensis

With Christmas approaching, it was time to head to the fields to collect photography for the 2022 issue of Shady Pond News. Before I could unload my camera gear from the truck, a moderately large folk of Canada Geese appeared over the tree tops. It was literally seconds after arriving that the geese were passing overhead. There were about 30-birds in all and their timing was so exact that it almost seem that they were expecting me. As with most large flocks, there was very little honking. The birds landed generally north of my location to pursue their obsession, grazing in the fields.

The geese feed on grass seed by taking seed heads in their bills then yanking it to strip the seeds off. All that is left to do is swallow. Chewing is not required. In times past, the biggest folk observed here included 80-birds. They flew in absolute silence. When it was time to depart, the lead goose would make a circle over the Christmas trees to give his companions time to build their classic V-formation. The leader would then guide them down and only inches above a row of Christmas trees. They would always pass directly overhead and were so low you could almost touch them. You could actually hear the sound of the air under their wings as they headed to their next destination. Their departure was stunningly beautiful and made you feel as if you were flying with them. Mother Nature gives wonderful gifts.

When my photography chores complete, I drove the truck to where I expected them to be. I came within a few feet of them to watch them feed. As close as I was to the flock, they were totally relaxed and completely content. I took their picture then returned to the barn and to other tasks. They continued to graze as day departed and bedded down in the field for the night.