Crystal clear and quiet, except for the methodical hammer-blows of a pileated woodpecker performing surgery on a tree afflicted with ants.
Cold and gray. Two doves sit motionless in a tall locust. A pileated woodpecker skulks through the woods, silent save for its wingbeats.
Pileated woodpeckers fly back and forth cackling, their wings black and white as newsprint amid the cathedral-window colors of the leaves.
Another cool and cloudless morning. The hollow echoes with the croaks of ravens. A pileated woodpecker taps on the side of my house.
Another perfect day. From just inside the woods’ edge, the sledgehammer blows of a pileated woodpecker destroying a city of ants.
Overcast and cool. A catbird scolds something in the lilac. Crickets. A pileated woodpecker whinnies once and begins to tap.
Have the flickers fledged? Their den hole gapes, silent. Is absence of evidence evidence of absence? A pileated woodpecker’s wild laughter.
Snowstorm. Two male cardinals meet on a white branch and stare at each other. A third red crest flashes in the woods: pileated woodpecker.
From down-hollow, a pileated woodpecker comes yelling straight over the house, lands and falls silent, joining its mate to forage for grubs.
A pause in the sleet. It’s plenty cold enough for snow, but all we get is this glassy grit. A pileated woodpecker whinnies up on the ridge.
In the weak sun, a violent sneeze possesses me. It echoes off the hillside, sets a squirrel to scolding. A pileated woodpecker drums.
The sun slowly dims in the whitening sky. Soft taps of a woodpecker. The flashing orange light on the roof of the meter reader’s truck.
A pileated woodpecker foraging near the ground suddenly flees yelling into the treetops. Several nearby juncos take off too, just in case.
A week of sub-freezing temperatures and I’d almost forgotten the smell of the earth. A pileated woodpecker opens its black-and-white wings.
The wind has stripped the treetops of most remaining leaves, flooding them with light. I watch the sine-wave flight of a far-off woodpecker.
Overcast and still. The hollow thumps of a pileated woodpecker foraging for breakfast. Walnuts fall on the back roof with an alarming crash.