Mid-morning, and my feet are propped on the rail as usual. A female downy woodpecker lands on my right boot and taps at the worn-down sole.


  1. The boots are brown with black soles, and I’m dressed entirely in brown and gray, so I guess I must resemble a dead tree…? It was one of those odd times when the yard was just seething with small birds — white-throated sparrows, titmice, Carolina wrens, juncos — excited for some reason I couldn’t fathom.

  2. Maybe you have sat there so long she thought you had taken root.

    1. Ha! I hadn’t been there for more than 15 minutes, but maybe I looked rooted. Or root-like. Or both.

      I took it as a message from the bird world and went inside to work on some business for the local Audubon chapter which I’d been putting off for days. :)

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