Michael's Rediscovery of Nature

Ramblings and observations of a former biologist and a lifelong naturalist, who has recently returned to his roots in east Texas. After a many years of working from coast to coast in an industry far removed from biology, it has been a pleasant change of geography, activity, and attitude. No stressful job decked out in a three piece suit. No city living. Instead there is a rediscovery of the woods, of something scurrying through the leaves, of the clear notes of a bird call, and of reliving the joy that I had when nature was a playground and a classroom.

Get Back! No Pictures For You

I try to have a picture with each of these little messages, blogs, stories or whatever they are, but this time I was not fast enough to take one.

PileatedI was grilling butterfly pork chops and turned to go back in the RV to get a plate when I saw a large bird out of the corner of my eye.  I looked up and there was a Pileated Woodpecker flying from one tree to another just about 100 feet away.  I stepped inside and grabbed my Nikon D60 with a 200 mm lens on it.  I walked slowly towards the tree but only got a few steps when he took off for the far beyond.  No chance to get a picture.

Hopefully I will get another chance.  I believe he came from the woods across the highway where I usually walk and perhaps I will catch up with him there soon.  I haven't been walking over there lately because of all the rain.  It is really muddy over there with the slightest rain.  With the nearly constant rain for the past 3 months, it is really sloppy over there.

I have seen Pileated Woodpeckers before but this is the first one I've seen at Lake O' the Pines.  A long time ago I spent a few days in Martin Dies State Park on the northern edge of the Big Thicket.  They were fairly common there and I saw quite a few of them but that was years ago.

They are such an impressive bird.  You won't have trouble mistaking them for another woodpecker.  They are much larger.  The only one that came close was the Ivory Billed Woodpecker which is very likely extinct and was about the same size.  There is no comparison to the other local woodpeckers which are quite a bit smaller: Red-Headed, Red-Bellied, and Downey.

When I catch him in the lens, I will post it here and go into a little more detail about them.

The Pileated Woodpecker is the 46th bird species I have spotted here at the RV Park (and woods across the street) since I got here about 17 months ago.  

NOTE: 03-04-16 I added a photo of a Pileated that I took later.

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