The soft colors of trees just coming into blossom: birch, elm, shadbush. The bright yellow on yellow of a bumblebee visiting the daffodils.
A squirrel climbs the elm with a mouthful of dried leaves, goes into the old flicker hole and turns to face out, ready for other contenders.
A wet, white fur on the fallen elm limbs and the statue they destroyed. A squirrel scrambles up the snag and disappears into the den hole.
Calm. Sandy’s center must be close. The top half of the dead elm tree has blown down, breaking the back of the old dog statue.
In the cold rain, a squirrel sits on an elm limb with its back to the trunk working on a walnut, its tail folded over its head like a hood.
Four bluebirds take turns checking out the empty flicker hole in the dead elm—a winter nest site, maybe? A raven flies past, croaking.
A squirrel creeps up to the flicker hole in the dead elm, but another squirrel pops out chittering and gives chase through the treetops.
A pileated woodpecker comes cackling into the dead elm, then quietly gets to work: hop down the trunk a few inches, listen for ants, repeat.
A black snake leaves the flicker nest-hole and begins a perilous descent of the smooth trunk, a bulge in its midsection from all the eggs.
See my blog post on the whole flicker-black snake saga at Via Negativa.
An intruder—another flicker—quietly descends the elm, pokes its head in the nest hole and is promptly chased off by the current occupant.
A pileated woodpecker lands on the dead elm right beside the flicker den hole and knocks twice. A flicker pokes her head out. He flies off.
A muffled knocking from inside the dead elm. A flicker’s head pops out of a hole and flings a billful of wood chips into the sun.
Thin fog. A flicker is excavating a den hole in the dead elm on the other side of the yard, his head almost disappearing into the tree.
The top half of a dead elm behind the house crashes down in the wind. I remember the porcupine in its topmost branch like a crown of thorns.
Warm, overcast and damp. The last bit of bark on the dead elm tree glows pale green on the outer half of a limb, a four-fingered glove.
A downy woodpecker lands on the dead elm, his black-and-white feathers against the barkless trunk as startling and dramatic as a totem pole.