red-bellied woodpecker

‪A great-crested flycatcher responds to a red-bellied woodpecker’s trill. A squirrel missing half its tail fixes me with a hostile stare.‬

A red-bellied woodpecker’s flight like a fast oarsman, far-apart wingbeats propelling it through the blue. It disappears into a tall locust.

Thick fog, and the road gray with sleet that fell in the night. Three red-bellied woodpeckers are whinnying back and forth in the treetops.

‪The usual bird calls—cardinal, titmouse, red-bellied woodpecker—but something seems off. It’s the clouds, coming from the wrong direction.‬

The yellow is moving up from the goldenrod to the birches, tulip trees and elms. A red-bellied woodpecker’s shrill calls end in a trill.

On a crystal-clear morning, the whinnying cry of a red-bellied woodpecker seems full of angst, and a jay’s rasping call—pure frustration.

Overcast and cold. I am listening to the woodpeckers the way one listens to a marimba, savoring the varied, rich tones of dead wood.