Monday, February 18, 2013

It's A Huge Woodpecker

I did bestir myself yesterday to count birds away from home.  I got dressed and went out to Barkhausen with my checklist & pencil, bird book, knitting, apple, water bottle, and camera to count birds for an hour.  I planned to only stay an hour because I needed to make a grocery run for Durwood and buckle down to write out an article I'd been writing in my head for the knitting guild's newsletter.  No shilly-shallying.  It was a perfect day--bright and sunny--and there weren't a lot of skiers on the trail that goes right by the feeder area so the birds were happening.  I saw two hawks too far away to positively identify on the way out there but it was just before I left that the magic happened.  Jenna, the young woman naturalist, helped me get settled by the feeder window and helped identify a little sparrow.  I saw lots of chickadees, or maybe the same five over and over, American tree sparrows, goldfinches, a cardinal, a blue jay, a Downy woodpecker (they're tiny) and a Red-bellied woodpecker (they're about robin-sized). After about 45 minutes I dragged my chair to the opposite end of the visitor center because Jenna said that the mourning doves were there and I hadn't counted any (even though I see them every day).  There were the doves and more chickadees but then I saw a Hairy woodpecker (nearly robin-sized, much bigger than the Downy) and as soon as the Hairy flew away here came the Pileated woodpecker (it's as big as a crow).  That's right, the big daddy of WI woodpeckers came right up to the feeder as if he owned it and stayed right there pecking on the suet while I snapped pictures.  I've heard them pounding away on trees up at The Clearing and once one swooped by in front of my van out by the bay but I'd never SEEN one, one that held still so I could be positive that's what it was, until yesterday.  I'm sure I was grinning like an idiot.  I heard Jenna tell a couple renting snowshoes behind me that the Pileated was on the feeder and I heard the woman say "oh, yeah" and then go on buckling her snowshoe.  Huh.  Oh well, I got to see it.  Got to look at it for as long as I wanted until it flew away.  I have to say that it looked strangely like Woody Woodpecker but it wears a black suit not a blue one.  Too cool.  My smile stuck all the way through the grocery and into the house to tell Durwood all about it.

Then I wrote my article, ate supper, finished knitting a pair of fingerless mitts, watched Downton Abbey (gasp! sniff), read the article to Durwood then cut it in half, emailed it to TS, and went to bed.  Lovely day.

February 18--Tiffany & Co., Tray.  The fireflies in the undergrowth looked like tiny golden-green lanterns lighting her way.  Elysse heard Max blundering around in the kitchen all the way down at the pond so she knew he was angry.  She hoped he wasn't breaking any of her favorite pottery bowls.  It had taken her years to collect them.  She shook her head at that thought.  How silly to think about bowls when her marriage was probably what was broken.  She wasn't going to back down no matter how angry Max got.  He could sell all his own possessions but this house on this land was where she had grown up and she would not sell.  A great crash and crack of wood echoed down from the house, then all was silent.  Maybe Max had knocked himself out.  Silence was a relief after the evening's argument.  She didn't hurry back to see what had happened.

Allrighty then.  Time for breakfast, reading the paper, showering, and going to work.  The sun's supposed to shine for a bit then it'll cloud up and it's supposed to rain by evening.  How goofy is that?  It barely got up to 20 degrees yesterday and today it's supposed to rain???  I don't get it.  Ah well, I'll deal.  You too.

1 comment:

Aunt B said...

Very Big Woodpecker!! And you got a wonderful picture of him. Congrats.