Overcast and still. Two downy woodpeckers a quarter mile apart have found dead trees that, when hammered, ring at precisely the same pitch.
A fresh dusting of snow slowly vanishes—but if the sun has a tongue, the breeze has a bite. The methodical taptaptap of a downy woodpecker.
Palefaced sky with its one glowing orifice. The woodpeckers are busy with surgeries, removing delicious infestations from limb after limb.
Two downy woodpeckers tapping back and forth. The sun almost comes out. Someone is out walking on the crusty snow—the crunch of their boots.
Last night’s dusting of snow has managed to persist all morning under the trees. The silence seems impervious to the woodpecker’s taps.
Wind turns the pages of my notebook. The sun is bright, and I’m feeling happy for the small woodpecker who’s found a very loud branch.
Woodpeckers big and small are tapping on trees without disturbing the snow on every branch. Hibernating insects will never hear the knock.
Cloudy and cold. The quiet tapping of a downy woodpecker. A deer hunter appears, his bloody quarry sliding behind him on the fallen leaves.
A downy woodpecker in the spicebush hangs from a silk moth cocoon, trying to reach the pupa, but the soft stuff defeats her hammer and nail.
Deep cold. Two chickadees invade the porch, fluttering noisily above my head. A downy woodpecker excavates breakfast from a resonant tree.