Sunday, February 28, 2010

pileated drumming

I was out exploring the Antenna Farm again today when a male pileated woodpecker suddenly swooped across the road just over my head (literally about 10 feet above me). He then perched on a telephone pole, drummed once, and flew off again. This is the first woodpecker drumming I've heard this year, although I maybe haven't been getting out to the right spots. Walking back, I noticed several trees with huge, pileated beak-sized holes in them.

Very little fruit left on the chokecherries now, and what fruit is there is inedible and devoid of flesh--it's just pit and skin. Sumac have a little fruit left, and mountain ash and European buckthorn have plenty. The snow is melting on south-facing slopes, and last year's mullein is being exposed to the sun; they look like fuzzy green roses blooming on the ground.

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