Her shadow draws my eye to the pileated woodpecker flying as silently as a pickpocket’s hand from one trunk to the next. A flash of crimson.
Palefaced sky with its one glowing orifice. The woodpeckers are busy with surgeries, removing delicious infestations from limb after limb.
Sunlight filtered through thin clouds looks somehow warmer than it is. Silence embellished by the resonant knocks of a pileated woodpecker.
Snowflakes in the air give shape to the wind. I sneeze, and a pileated woodpecker emerges from the far side of an oak and flies off.
Soft light on the hard frost: more glimmer than glitter. A pileated woodpecker’s kak kak kak like a high-pitched engine trying to start.
A hollow, rasping grunt: either a raven or a buck in rut. The pileated woodpecker cackling in flight falls silent as soon as she lands.
The damp silence inside a cloud, broken only by a pileated woodpecker’s muffled tapping and the distant caw of a crow.
Gray and cool. The first hummingbird zooms past. A pileated woodpecker flies in to hammer the old butternut stump, keeping a wary eye on me.
Bright and cold. Echoing off the ice, the back-and-forth love notes of pileated woodpeckers bashing their heads against dead tree limbs.
Trees at the woods’ edge with their branches out to catch all the light they can—or in this case, snow. A pileated woodpecker’s flaming cap.