Flocks of geese fly low overhead, one after another, their cries echoing off the ridges. A red-bellied woodpecker scolds from a locust tree.
Dialogue or mere coincidence? A crow calling from the ridge is answered syllable for syllable by a red-bellied woodpecker in the yard.
A red-bellied woodpecker yammers from tree to tree, all around the yard. A builder drives by with nothing in the bed of his truck.
A red-bellied woodpecker descends an arched locust limb tap by tap, its tail sweeping off the new snow—white puffs against the white sky.
New snow—already despoiled by deer digging for grass. I watch a red-bellied woodpecker inch down one side of a tree and inch up the other.
The sun! Rising through treetops turned to blazing crystal. The red-bellied woodpecker foraging for breakfast sounds distinctly unimpressed.
The sun shines through thin clouds; tree shadows on the snow are light gray rather than blue. A red-bellied woodpecker trills over and over.
Out of the dense fog, the too-fast-to-count taps of a woodpecker drumming for the music of it. He pauses to let a train whistle blow.
A scant inch of snow turned scabrous by the rain and cold that followed it—but still the world glows, the woodpecker’s red head shines.
A thousand blemishes sparkle on the side of the white porch column perpendicular to the sun. A red-bellied woodpecker trills and trills.