I live alone with my preschooler in an off-grid cabin on a remote island off the coast of British Columbia.
"Don't wish me happiness I don't expect to be happy all the time....It's gotten beyond that somehow. Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor. I will need them all." Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Friday, 24 July 2015
One day when I went down to the garden to cut a bouquet of flowers I saw a pileated woodpecker drilling on a stump on the other side of the fence. I scooped up the little angel and headed quietly over to look. When I realized the bird wasn't going anywhere we went back to the cabin to get my phone so I could show you this bird that frequently finds mention in my blog. There is a zoom on the camera phone but I've never figured out how to turn it on when I want it and this particular day it wasn't on. The bird was about six feet away eating termite's while drilling the stump apart. It was a male as the crest descended right to the beak and it had a moustache (a red line on the cheek) The female does not have the moustache and her crest is only at the very top of her head. Wood chips from heavy blows landed near my bare feet. When the side of the stump furthest away from us was decimated the bird hopped up on the remaining side and paused to take a good long look at us. Given that a pair typically will have a territory of approximately 150 acres or larger and that the longest recorded living pileated woodpecker in the wild was 12 years old it's nearly guaranteed that this is the same male I've seen and heard on a number of occasions. The black and white wings swooped like an oversized butterfly as it quickly passed into the secret depths of the forest. It's the raw beauty of this movement that endlessly appeals to me as the bird moves effortlessly through time and space leaving nothing behind except feather's and sawdust.
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