Saturday, September 29, 2012

Webs and wings

I set off with the camera early this morning determined to locate the pileated woodpeckers that have been hanging around the area for the past few weeks, but I got distracted. First I followed a great blue heron flying upstream toward our neighbor's hay-meadow, and then I noticed dew sparkling on spider webs all over the meadow, always a more impressive web just a little farther up the hill. Before I knew it two hours had passed and I was heading back toward my own driveway.

And there were the pileated woodpeckers, two of 'em, pecking on a big sycamore right at the end of my driveway. One flew off right away with that peculiar rowing motion but I watched the other hunt and peck for a few minutes, snapping a shot whenever it became visible.

By that time the sun was fully risen. There were too many leaves and too much light, and the only way to get around to the other side of the tree would be to levitate over the creek. I finally decided to ease my way over toward the bridge, but the bird flew off the minute I moved.  

I heard them later up behind the house, taunting me. They always turn up on the wrong side of the creek from where I'm standing or on the other side of a barbed-wire fence.  They're free to fly unhindered by fences, roads, and property lines while I'm floundering in a web of my own making.


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