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… said the blogging woman as she spoke on the phone.

OK, about this woodpecker. I first saw this magnificent creature last year as I lay depressed in my room … staring out the window at the dead oak tree outside. The tree matched my mood.

(Note to readers … yes, I am indeed a non-card-carrying tree hugger … and was waiting until the very last of its lifeblood was gone before cutting it down. I think we are just about there now. Maybe not. What do you think?)

It was a day, much like today … overcast, humid, with a heavy summer rain having just drenched all unprotected surfaces. And as I dreamily looked out the window I was shocked into the present.   By a bird more closely looking like miniature pterodactyl.

Here are some pictures of what it looked like … more or less. But mine was far more raggedy in the head, and larger in the body.

Drawing a shocked breath, I remembered the Woody Woodpecker cartoons of my youth and recognized it for what it was. A giant Pileated Woodpecker. Well, in reality it looks a lot more like the pictures of the rarer, larger ivory billed woodpecker, but I can’t believe it was that. But then again I found it hard to believe it was there at all.

This creature was huge … and by huge, I mean like easily over two feet tall. Scared the living daylights out of me, with its pronounced back-swept red raggedy head and white in black beady eyes. And like I said, it looked more like a dinosaur than a bird.

Looking for my camera, I heard the most amazing chatter from all the other birds in the area. I guess it had scared the daylights out of them as well. And looking up in the tree … but before I could get my camera ready … it spread its wings out like a hawk does in the air … as widely as the Bald Eagles up the road … and with seemingly no effort whatsoever, glided from the top of my oak tree to the maple tree in my neighbor’s yard across the road .

Stunning.

By the time I got my camera, it was gone. And I have been looking for it ever since.

Until this morning.

While doing some more prep work on the room I plan to paint today, I heard a woodpecker outside. Not unusual. The little guys (see pic of little guy) are always hitting on the various dead trees on the property … oh, and my house … they look for bugs on my house. Comforting. Not.

But I realized that today this distinctive pecking was much deeper, and much louder than the usual sounds. In hopes that it was indeed the large creature revisiting my area, I rushed to get the phone camera (My Canon is not working) and went outside to listen and take a picture. Perfect for a Happy Holly Project item.

Upon hearing the deep resonating pecking sound out back I hiked up the hill to the area where he was and looked in all the trees. No luck. Until I looked and saw him … wings spread … gliding off into the distance through the trees.

Here are pictures of the tree he WAS in … and the trees as he flew away … harumph. Not a picture of the rascal between them.

And now I can hear him way down the road, checking yet another tree for yummy bugs. Have you ever noticed how the sound of a Pileated Woodpecker sounds a whole lot like a child taunting “Nya nya, nya nya nya”? No? Just me?

OK, so I took a picture … but as you can see, he is nowhere to be seen. Timing, as they say, is everything.

Guess I’ll keep my day job.

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