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The pileated woodpecker

 Last winter, my stepdaughter, who is as blind as I am (and that’s bad) peered out from the kitchen window and said, “Hey, isn’t that one of those big woodpeckers?”  Sure enough, there he was, tapping away for his dinner in the middle of my forest.  The telltale holes on the tree mark this as a frequent dining spot for our friend, the pileated woodpecker.

I have a variety of woodpeckers and their kin visiting my bird feeders daily–downy peckers, hairy peckers, and red-bellied peckers.  Peckers, peckers, everywhere!  None are so majestic, though, as this king of all the peckers.   His fiery red head  is visible even to my lovely child with her 20/400 vision–although it is possible she heard the loud machine-gun-like wrapping before she actually spotted him.

Bugs are much more plentiful in warmer weather and, with the towering trees cloaked in their greenest, leafiest outfits for summer, the chances of spotting one of these beauties is limited.  But, as food supplies lessen and the leaves take their annual swan dives to the forest floor, I’ll be sitting on my deck.  Wrapped in a blanket.  Zoom lens in hand. 

I’ll be waiting.  That’s right.  Waiting.  For my pecker.