They're back again! First thing this morning, when just a hint of light was pale beneath our curtains, we hear the woodpeckers rapid fire on the house. Once again, my husband bolts out of bed, and bangs hard on the side of the wall. The bird flies away. I know because it's scolding all the way, like "how dare you interrupt me while I'm making a hole in the side of your house?". My husband settles back into bed and five minutes later, as soon as we fall back to sleep, the alarm clock goes off. Isn't that always the way? So he goes to take his shower, and the bird seems to know, because he's back doing an imitation of a machine-gun on the side of our house. Then from farther away, I hear another woodpecker on our neighbors house. I do as I always do - ignore it, but this time it seems to be an orchestrated chorus of a loud "tap-a-tap-a-tap" on our house, answered by a distant, "tap-a-tap-a-tap-tap," from the next door neighbors. Last year we had a painter climb up to the high east corner of our house and put some metal siding (painted to match the house) over the big hole the bird made last spring. At this rate our house will resemble swiss cheese! I don't know if the birds are pecking for food or for a comfortable living arrangement, or perhaps to attract a mate. Maybe all three, but I wish they'd use a tree instead, as all good woodpeckers are supposed to do!
You may wonder why there is a picture of a blue jay and NOT a woodpecker above my post. I'll tell you. This quiet, beautiful, bird seems to be building a nest in one of our backyard trees. I've been trying to get a snapshot of it, but each time I walk outside it flies away. Finally I gave up and stuck up this Google image in place of the great digital image from my camera. This picture looks most like the jays we have around here. She is carefully gathering soft mounds of matted grass, damp and crushed, from the weight of the layer of snow which just melted. She gathers a soggy bunch in her beak and flys away to build, and then comes back for more. I imagine she already has the frame of sticks and now she is lining the inside of the nest with the softened grass. Last summer we had a huge magpie nest in a tree beside the jays tree. I hope the jays are better house keepers because the magpie nest was falling apart and a complete mess. Pieces of it would fall on you if you walked beneath it. Maybe the nest was raided by the local family of foxes. It's a sad thought but they have to eat too.
I was appreciating the cycle of the seasons and how the animals work with it -as human's forget to do. The grass would not provide such good nesting material if the snow had not recently melted. It's like magic how the earth is so perfectly orchestrated, that the lives of its creatures, and us, are so intimately tied to the cycle of the seasons. Now if I can just get a picture...(or that pesky woodpecker.)