Window Writer

03 June 2011


Nature Walk

The powerful drumming stopped me in my tracks; I could hear a familiar and distinctive boring sound.  I was hoping that the unique bird-call – the loud kingfisher-like rattle - would guide me to where the Oregon’s Pileated, crested woodpecker was.  This woodpecker is commonly known as the model for the cartoon character “Woody Woodpecker” and is dressed with a large black-and-white feathered chest and a bold red-feathered crest.  These Woodys are highly anti-social.  Their long sticky tongues, which are coated with bristles, extract insects deep within their bored hole and as they vertically walk up the tree trunk with their strong claws and feet; their stiffened tail helps support their hold.

Our “Woody” had already finished boring a hundred plus holes in the tree along side the Labyrinth; and was now boring into a new tree on the east end of the property where he was aggressively feeding on a insect diet of beetles, ants, termites, spiders and caterpillars. 

There was no sign of Woody as we approached the 70 foot-tall lifeless fir tree but the newly bored holes were evident that there had just been a “big feed”.

The evening ended with three young bucks feeding 50 feet from the Book Nook. So Beautiful - a little bit of heaven on earth.