Red Belly Woodpecker

The Hole in the Tree .. A Short Story

There’s a hole in the tree just outside my window from where I perch.  It’s a big stately maple tree with lots of muscular trunks and branches.  There are bird nests and squirrels nests, hollowed out spaces and woodpecker holes.   I have watched generations of Robins build their nests with precision and speed and have waited in hiding to view the baby blue eggs and the babies straining their necks competing for  food. 

Oh yes, I know this tree intimately.  From my perch just inside my own nest, I have spied on this tree for years quietly and patiently observing all of its magic and glory from season to season. 

In the middle of the tree there are dead trunks where woodpeckers have drilled their perfect holes and sparrows have taken over to nest.  Gray and white Nuthatches scurry upside down stopping at the hole to investigate, their long pointy beaks poking about for leftover bugs.  The squirrels have gnawed at the hole making it twice the original size and will soon stake their claim without another thought.   A Red Belly woodpecker drills for insects making a racket for all to hear and some to fear.   A Juvenile Red Tail Hawk swoops in to snatch its prey while I can only watch with angst.  It is all in a days adventure in my stately maple tree as I continue to watch with wonder and awe. 

Mine is a kind and giving tree gracing my yard with its majestic beauty from season to season.   In Spring, the arched and graceful branches come to life stretching up, up, up and over my land providing shelter for birds and shade for people to enjoy on a hot Summer day.  Newly formed branches splay their wide and gentle fingers, ready to become home to thousands of new leaves.   In the Fall my Maple tree delivers a spectacular show of golden yellow carpet.  In Winter, green lichen-covered limbs drop to the ground where hard frozen twigs shatter like icicles. 

The golden view outside of my “perch”.

Soon weather worn trunks will become soft and vulnerable to a woodpeckers bill, tap tap tapping away looking for insects who have survived Winter’s freeze. 

The Red Belly Woodpecker

My big Maple tree will reenact itself season to season, year after year.  It will withstand fierce winds and brutal storms and It will provide me with hours and hours of natural entertainment.  

Robin’s nest. Still intact in the Winter months. Ready for the next fledglings of the Spring.
Red Male Cardinal, keeping a lookout for the female, never far away.
Female Cardinal
The beautiful multi colored Flicker Woodpecker
The Hairy Woodpecker, which resembles the Downy Woodpecker.

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