weekend I was tripping around outside enjoying the yard when I saw
our friendly neighbourhood woodpecker pecking away at our dead apple
tree was barely alive last summer, riddled with bug holes and giving
its last breaths to growing bug-riddled apples. I remember the day
the tree died last year. I went outside to find the apple-bearing
branches (a cluster of three) on the ground. The tree had spontaneously
gave up its last vesitges of life. This tree is definitely dead.
I've been thinking we should get rid of this twisted relic of a
tree in our yard. It's only about 4 feet high, has a few long branch/stumps
that are about 6 inches in diameter. It's not terribly unattractive
— if it were cast in bronze, I'd believe it was art. But it's
a pain to mow around, plus to use the weed-whacker, when we could
just pull it up and have one less obstacle.
that Mr. Woodpecker had discovered the tree, and was eating the
bugs that resided within, I thought I should wait until next spring
to get rid of the stump. My suet feeder was empty at the moment,
and it gave me a warm fuzzy feeling that we were feeding the birds
Woodpecker seemed pretty happy about the whole thing too. He'd sit
on the tree and chirp and chirp. So last weekend when I noticed
he'd discovered the tree, I figured I'd go and inspect where he'd
been pecking. After all, I'd never seen woodpecker pecks up close
looked at the underside where he'd been pecking, and there was a
cute little dent in the tree. "Just the right size for a candle"
I thought, and envisioned him making several more in his search
for bugs. Come mid-winter I could just go outside, chop off the
branch and have a completely nature-made candle holder for a gift.
You know, like driftwood that looks like antlers or potatoes that
look like presidents — one of those freak-of-nature ain't-it-cool
this past Friday my parents came by and I figured I'd show off our
woodpecker dent to my mom. How could someone else, especially my
mom, not be interested in the dents that woodpeckers make when eating
bugs on my tree?
gotta see this... it's the cutest little dent!" I gushed as
we approached the tree. "Just look right under here..."
and I tilted my head to demonstrate how and where to look.
startled, I make the most embarrasing shriek. I hope the woodpecker
didn't think it was a cry of attack. It had flown out of its new
home, past my head, and into the branches of another nearby tree.
Instead of finding the cute dent, there was now a full-blown entrance
to a woodpecker home. About 3 inches wide, and cavernous.
learned a very important lesson on Friday. Circumstances change.
What you thought was a naturally-made candle holder for you could
be a birdhouse in the making. I've now bought a new cake of suet
for our feeder, as a house-warming gift to our new neighbours.