Saturday, August 24, 2013

Using her head

We've been working too hard. In the last couple of days, I've been pruning rhododendrons and rose bushes, cutting down volunteer Oregon grapes, and raking, raking, raking . . . Laurie went out and bought more soil, and several pots of ferns, then cut down a tree. Our backs are protesting.

Someone else has been busy in the garden, taking care of an old cherry tree.


It's a big job, but someone's gotta do it.

Going deeper.

The tree was badly pruned about 5 years ago (butchered, I think, is the correct word). It has sprouted new branches, but the heartwood is rotting out, and it's probably full of bugs.

The woodpecker has come back twice; she's almost down to the heartwood now. There's a small hill of punk wood and sawdust at the foot of the tree.

State of affairs this afternoon.

Does she ever get a headache?

*Post updated to correct her gender. Males have a red moustache, females don't.  I realized this, thanks to Steve Creek, who has a photo of a male feeding his chick.


  1. no headaches are avoided, but perhaps he was tired of heart rot bugs and went looking for something else.

    We lost a plum tree this year. Someone had butchered it and having no friendly woodpeckers the carpenter ant invasion meant the rest of the stump had to go.

    They did leave up enough stump to hang bird feeders from

  2. You are lucky to get so close!!! I only see them from a distance!

  3. Upupaepops, I prefer the woodpecker to the carpenter ants. Or, just my luck, we would have wasps. Stinging wasps.

    Judy; this is the first one I have seen close up, ever.

  4. Great capture! These birds are difficult for me to get close to and I don't think I have ever photographed one that was working a tree like yours.

  5. There must have been some good bugs in that tree. By the time she got annoyed and flew off, there were three people just a few feet away.


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