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Archive for January 13th, 2016

Pileated Woodpecker DetailGC Myers Tree Near  Studio 2016I posted a picture on social media a few days ago of a tree that had been recently visited by one of the several large pileated woodpeckers that reside in the woods around my home and studio.  Earlier that day I had been coming through the woods to the studio in the early morning,  As I passed this tree I stopped because it looked like the tree was casting a shadow in the moonlight which wasn’t unusual except for the fact that there was no moon out.  The light around the base of the tree turned out to be a large piles of woodchips created by the woodpecker.

A lot of people were surprised by the apparent damage done but for us it’s nothing new or unusual.  We’ve lived in these woods for going on twenty years and the sound of the woodpecker’s distinct cackle and hard pecking rings through the forest regularly.  We often see the very large birds at work and in flight with their strange up and down motion– each upstroke of their wings lifts them while each downstroke sees them seemingly pulled down by their sheer weight.

GC Myers Tree Outside Studio 2016In the first few years we lived here they seemed very evasive and we seldom caught sight of them but as we settled in and they grew accustomed to us, the sightings increased.  I think they see us now as part of the forest and we definitely see them as an integral part of the woods.  And while they appear to inflict damage on some of the trees of the forest, we know that the trees they work on are already being damaged and destroyed from the inside by boring insects, most often carpenter ants.

One way or another, these softwoods are in natural peril.  We view the woodpecker’s work as being simply collateral damage.  Although there are times when we wish their work wasn’t quite so close to our home or my studio.

GC Myers Tree Near Studio 2016

These twisted trees and vines just outside the studio are not the target of our woodpeckers, I just found them interesting and wanted to share them.

These twisted trees and vines just outside the studio are not the target of our woodpeckers, I just found them interesting and wanted to share them.

 

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