"Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens."

Carl Jung


A Whiney Wonderful Woodpecker

One perk of living in wooded habitat is I've had the good fortune to study and observe all of Michigans' woodpecker species, with the exception of two that are found in the Upper Peninsula. I enjoy them all, but have a special fondness for Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, a migrant species that I find so very entertaining and more than a bit special.

Yellow-bellieds have a certain endearing demeanor about them.  While I've read many accounts that always describe this member of the woodpecker tribe as 'shy', I've always found them to be quite approachable.  Unlike the Red-headed, Pileated and Hairy Woodpecker, they're not what I'd label as a bold or brash bird; nor or they as skittish as the Downy or Red-belly. If we move quietly and slowly, they seem to be very curious and have often followed me around our woods for long periods of time, peeking around the tree trucks while watching my movements closely.  I call them the 'quiet' woodpecker, as their calls are quite plaintive and very different from the rest of the woodpecker tribe.  Sounding a bit like a lost child, their cries are a thin whining/descending cat-like mee-ah that always tugs at my heartstrings.




Last Call

softly dusk arrives

trees sheltering roosting birds

robin sings alone.


A Perfect Voice 

The Loon

Not quite four a.m., when the rapture of being alive
strikes me from sleep, and I rise
from the comfortable bed and go
to another room, where my books are lined up
in their neat and colorful rows. How

magical they are! I choose one
and open it. Soon
I have wandered in over the waves of the words
to the temple of thought.

And then I hear
outside, over the actual waves, the small,
perfect voice of the loon. He is also awake,
and with his heavy head uplifted he calls out
to the fading moon, to the pink flush
swelling in the east that, soon,
will become the long, reasonable day.

Inside the house
it is still dark, except for the pool of lamplight
in which I am sitting.

I do not close the book.

Neither, for a long while, do I read on.

(Mary Oliver)