Kanaskat State Park (July), day 2


As much as I liked that other pull-thru campsite on my first visit to Kanaskat-Palmer State Park in June, I started thinking I liked this back-in campsite even better.  It was just a tad more private and just a tad quieter.  AND .. I had visitors today!  Read on a little further.

These lovely ferns and trees greeted me at my front door.  And I could hear all manner of birds.  (I guess I’d better start learning to identify bird calls.)  In addition to hearing bird calls, after returning to the trailer from my long morning hike along the river and through the woods, I heard a whole lot of hammering and banging and chipping and rapping on a number of trees around me.  What the heck was going on?!

Well THIS (above) was going on!

And then THIS was going on! 🙂  I very slowly and quietly followed these folks through the woods around my campsite for 30 minutes or so, but couldn’t get a clear view or a clear photo.  So I went back to my campsite and sat down at the picnic table, thinking I would just listen and enjoy the occasional glimpse of them.  But .. after I sat very still for awhile at my picnic table ….

THIS fellow came over to a tree right on the edge of my campsite.  What a beauty.

Rap, tap, tap, tap, rap, tap, tap-p-p-p-p-p-p-p-p.  Etc.  Thinking about it made my whole head hurt.  But he kept at it for several minutes.

And then SHE showed up on yet another tree right at the edge of my campsite.

Rap, tap, tap, tap, rap, tap, tap-p-p-p-p-p-p-p-p.  Etc.  She either had a better tree or she was a bit more proficient about digging out the edibles as she stopped more often than he did in order to pick out some delicious tidbit and swallow it.

And then THIS happened!

She flew down to the ground and started working on a rotten stump .. not eight feet from where I sat!  Notice how much bark and green moss are on the stump right in front of her when she started the process.  (You can click on any of these photos and open a larger version of them.  Then use the back-arrow to get back to this page.)

She stayed there at least 15 minutes.  She had to have seen me, especially since I was moving my camera around, changing from single photos to video and back.  I took lots of photos, although for most of the time that she was there I just sat and watched her.

Remember how green that stump was when she started?  Look in the photo above … at the lower right corner of the stump … the part that is almost completely and very freshly denuded of bark and moss.  She cleared all that off and dug holes in the stump all in about 15-20 minutes, and consumed lots of tasty treats in the process.

Above .. a closeup of the area that she cleared on the stump.  Notice the deep holes she created.

And here’s the video (below).  Turn your sound up!

What a spectacular experience for me!

Later this same day some friends came for a visit to see my campsite and hear the stories (and they brought food!).  I was so excited about the woodpeckers however, that I neglected to get a single photo of my human visitors.

I am so blessed to have health and wealth such that I can see these parts of this amazing world.  I’m so grateful and so looking forward to the next surprise.  Sometimes it seems that surprises just arrive, without any action on our part … and sometimes I realize that I make space and time for “surprises” which are actually and simply real parts of this world that are out there all the time, waiting to be found and experienced.  I’m going to keep looking for more!

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4 Responses to Kanaskat State Park (July), day 2

  1. Ginger D says:

    I love the video. I could sit for hours and watch the birds and their antics. We have a hummingbird here that is such a little character and fun to watch. Wears me out watching her wings in action all the time. Lol

    • Ann says:

      Hi Ginger D,
      Me too! Birds are fascinating and certainly do have personalities once you take the time to get to know them, and you obviously are doing that .. good for you! We need more people in the world who love birds like you do. 🙂

  2. Bob Wheeler says:

    We (and our North American Field Guide book)call these birds Pileated woodpeckers and they come to our feeder quite regularly. Difficult to tell male from female as the markings are similar. Thet are big birds and fun to watch.

    • Ann says:

      Hi Bob Wheeler,
      Thank you! I knew they were woodpeckers, but thank you the specific “brand”. The internet tells me that “Pileated” is pronounced PIE-lee-ay-tid from the root word pileus (meaning “cap”), pronounced PIE-lee-us. Males have that bright fire engine red cap .. females have a more delicate red cap, looks like they have just a touch of grey in their cap. Thanks for the info and for making me look up even more about why things are the way they are.

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