This is a file picture because our Hairy won’t hold still for an at-work shot.
He’s a very guilty bird and explodes away at any human sight or sound.
But, I can’t imagine how he hears or sees at all when he’s hammering at the hemlock.

Arkive: hairy-woodpecker-male-on-tree-stump, Wild Nature Pictures.

Eating at our house.

The core of the house was a hundred years old when we moved in, 1976.
It’s not finished yet, but by the end of 1978 Dan carved a declaration.
The main inside layout, at least, was done.

We're dating.


We have all the woodpeckers on call: the little Downy, the huge Pileated.
Any of them might peck a little, one time or another, grooming our sheathing.

Peckers scaled.

Hairy is Robin sized.

Wood-boring bees, carpenter bees, bumble bees — drill nests.
Perfect augured circles go square in, then turn at the bottom.
Larvae of next year’s bees are deposited just past the crook.

Hairy is on a mission.
Just as many perfect 13/16 inch borer borings as we have,
that many will he get to the bottom of.
He is not as neat a worker as the bees.

That's how  much.


Not quite through the hemlock rafter, two inches literal, but more than halfway.
There probably isn’t any chance of structure-threatening injury to the house.
But we’d begun to think the apple tree
already old and damaged when we landed here
that it could stand forever.

Almost a hundred years.

Sergeant York.

Until one mid-October morning, last year, it fell.
The props too light, the crop too heavy, too much rain.
This spring it made some leaves and blossoms, taking a few more months to die.

The rest is brush.

Site of new tree, as yet undermined.

Last week, the chainsaw finally fixed, it’s all gone to the brush pile
(0ne of a hundred of brush piles).

Time for a new tree, the birds are insistent, and the porch needs shade.

Unless the whole blended lesson is that we’ve had our season.
The big wheel has been turned enough by all the little wheels
and our time’s up.

Last call for drinks.