Nature photography from a woman in the woods


Chasing Shadows . . .

shadow1” … I was crying because I can’t get my shadow to stick on.” ~ Peter Pan

Remember the scene in Walt Disney’s version of Peter Pan where Peter is chasing his shadow around the room?  I hadn’t thought of that since I was a kid,  until I saw my little one year old nephew trying to catch his shadow.  It started with just his hand trying to trap his hand’s shadow on the table .. Then, it increased in intensity a few weeks later as he now tenaciously crawls across the floor at great speed to catch his shadow.  When the angle of the light changes as he gets closer to it, it causes his shadow to change and then his shadow disappears on him.  He stops, looks around and then heads off in the opposite direction where his shadow now is.  We laugh as he entertains us …. he is a very determined shadow chaser.

I did my own form of shadow chasing today … It feels like months since we have had a relatively warm (above 30) day with “sunshine”.  There was some fresh untouched snow, also,  that made the shadows  vivid. (until the dog ran through to figure out what I was looking at …)

Pileated Woodpecker . . .

screen-shot-2017-01-17-at-11-48-13-amIn the new and deep snow on the ground where he dropped the block of suet.

The Pileated Woodpecker is the largest breed of woodpecker in the United States .. I would say that the pair living in my woods are about the size of a raven .. very big.  This is the first year they have decided to make my yard their home.  I enjoy watching them and find some of their stunts amazing and others annoying … ie:  they know how to open up my suet cage and take out the whole block. Thus making them a bit annoying, too. They are also pecking some of the younger trees to the point I am not sure they will survive.

screen-shot-2017-01-17-at-11-49-40-amPileated woodpeckers are commonly mistakenly called a “red-headed” woodpecker .. which they are not.  The red on the head is obvious and bright, but they are not “red headed” woodpeckers. They are called “pileated” woodpeckers.   It makes sense if you know that “Pileated” means “crest” and the crest on their heads is very red.  The whole head and neck is red on a “red-headed” woodpecker (which do not live in my area).

Hairy woodpeckers are numerous in my yard this winter (working on getting a picture).  They like to peck on the log corners of my house, it sounds like someone knocking at the door.  Hairy woodpeckers are small  black and white birds with a small dot of red at the back of their head. Not sure why they are called “Hairy” although the feathers on their bellies do look very soft and fluffy. Woodpecker names are very confusing as there is also a “red bellied” woodpecker .. who has no red on its belly, just a stripe down the back of its head.  And, Flickers are considered woodpeckers, too.