Irregular Verbiage
from the desk of Colin Nicholls

Be very very quiet

November 8, 2009 15:32 by colin

I went out into the back yard this afternoon and stood on the grass and just contemplated the sun and the breeze and the smell of the back garden. Then I noticed that, after a while, different birds would fly into the little copse of birch trees in the middle of the lawn, and pay me no heed. I sensed an opportunity... so I went and got my camera, and then returned and stood on the lawn, waiting. Pretty soon I could hear the tap tap tap of a woodpecker:

I think this guy is a male Hairy Woodpecker.

A little while later, a hummingbird buzzed around me and paid attention to the trunk of the nearest birch. I took three decent pictures of her, and I've tried to combine them in interesting ways below:

What was she so interested in? There were no flowers there. I took a look:

Aha. The woodpecker has been drilling through the outer bark, and the hummingbirds seem to enjoy the sap as it oozes out. This would be charming and all, except that I'm a little worried about our birch trees:

It's beginning to look like some serious damage. I guess this is a seasonal activity, and has probably occurred often in the past, but I can't help feeling nervous about it. We love our birch trees!

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