Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Dance Courtship . . . Or Is It?

Pileated Woodpeckers mate for life and renew courtship each year I imagine. Their dance is magical and I was amazingly lucky to happen upon them in the garden near my favorite Native Black Cherry yesterday morning. If you scroll fast . . .  you will get an idea of their choreography. Truly a gift! Precious . . .  as so much of our natural world and worthy of more than just our courting. We need a more serious daily relationship with the needs of our planet. Hopefully soon every day will become a better day for our beloved Earth! NOTE- I have been advised ( I am so thankful but cannot find the email to personally thank the person) and gratefully accept that these are two males?? If this was a challenge instead of courtship, it was certainly very mild mannered. Most curious.

For me Earth Day will always be a Remembrance for a dear soul, who devoted his heart, wit and wisdom to writing, educating, fighting and finally giving his life . . . for our world. I feel he has been with me these twelve years helping me be stronger in my part towards change. My heart smiles to think of Michael's spirit dancing with these magnificent birds. Thank you Mike for all you did and how you inspired so many others to fight harder too. You are deeply missed and never forgotten!


It is because of Michael that this Native (Serpentine) Black Cherry was saved from vines that were pulling it down. Now this tree is a major dancer in the gardens . . . with Michael's gentle, sweet spirit accompanied by gracious White and Gray Birch. I was looking towards the Black Cherry, when I saw the Pileated Woodpeckers . . .  the sun danced along too . . .  in their fiery crested crowns.  THANK YOU DEAR EARTH FOR ALL YOUR GIFTS.

40 comments:

Ami said...

Those Pileated woodpeckers dancing is so amazing, and lucky you got to see all of these and capture them! Very beautiful shots! This is a very nice post to dedicate to Michael. Happy Earth Day!

Randy Emmitt said...

Carol,

Happy Earth Day to you! These woodpeckers are really something, great you got to watch the courtship rites. Guess I have just added something new to my list of things I want to see someday.

Christine said...

Happy Earth Day Carol. What a wonderful gift you received: That fabulous dance and sweet memories of your friend.

Jean said...

What a beautiful remembrance of your special friend. It brought tears to my eyes.

Every time I see one of those woodpeckers I'm thrilled. I didn't realize they mate for life. That makes them even more special.

Happy Earth Day. I do hope we are finally healing our Mother.

FlowerLady said...

Carol ~ How wonderful to have been able to see and capture for us to see as well, the woodpeckers courtship dance. Truly a blessing to behold. I did not realize that they mate for life.

Have a lovely weekend ~ FlowerLady

Kathryn said...

wow, that was really beautiful to see and read...all the best to you!

Deborah at Kilbourne Grove said...

Carol, that was a fascinating courtship dance. Happy Earth Day!

GardenJoy4Me said...

Carol that was wonderful and I did exactly THAT .. scrolled down a little quickly and those beautiful birds DID dance for ME : )
I love the trees .. I am a proud tree hugger and they mean a lot to me .. thus the many trees in a small garden for me ? LOL
I'm sure the spirit of Michael is there enjoying it all with you too Carol ;-)
Joy

Kiki said...

Wow!! What a super gorgeous pst..they are such beauties!! Awesome photos..and special earth day scene!! Lovely!
Hope all is well!
Have a happy day!
Kiki~

heather @ what's blooming this week said...

Carol - what a lovely tribute to Mother Earth and to Michael.

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Thank you for sharing all of this. Those huge beautiful woodpeckers are such a treat...to see them courting must have been magical.

Zuzu said...

Hello Carol,
I still continue to visit, but am leaving fewer comments. I'm embarrased to say that compared to all the beauty and gentle thoughts you share, I have little to give back in return. So I lurk.
And yet, by living small, off-the-grid, in the middle of nature, no TV, one shared vehicle w/ four planned trips to town a month, low water usage, and so on - well, maybe in some small way, by living small, I do contribute.

Everyday is Earth Day when you love and value nature. Thank you for all the beauty you share.

Kyna said...

Loved this post! :D

keewee said...

You were lucky to capture the event. They sure are beautiful birds.

Titania said...

Hi Carol; You have truly a magical place and garden. I enjoyed the meeting, courtship and dance of these magnificent birds. How lucky you are to observe nature at its best. It is also a lovely tribute to a good friend. I like the stand of trees in its natural surroundings.
Only when people are informed will they be aware. Only when they are aware they will take action, will the environment be saved.
Prize winner 1996 in "The green Team" Ndyakira Amooti.
I enjoy reading your blog.
I left a message on botanical.

Brian said...

Well done, Carol

Meredith said...

Oh, Carol, this was a simply beautiful post! That curving black tree among the stark white, straight birches is stunning. And I was going "oooh" as soon as I began to scroll through the woodpeckers' dance; you were lucky indeed to catch them mid-dance. I've never seen them do anything like this, but I thrill to their red heads whenever I see them in the woods.

I was touched by the poignant story of your friend Michael and his passion. More inspiration to keep all of us working on behalf of the Earth we love.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

What a wonderful display! I never get close enough to the Pileated Woodpeckers here to succeed in one photograph, never mind that many! The scroll wheel on my mouse was perfect. If I scroll through the images fast enough, it's almost like video.

I love the notion that Michael's spirit is dancing with these beautiful birds. A wonderful thought for Earth Day.

gloria said...

Carol, you have the most amazing post!

noel said...

aloha,

a beautiful post for earth day carol, i couldn't have come up with anything quite close to your magical interpretation....bravo

pamsenglishgarden said...

Carol, My husband's dream is to see a pileated woodpecker! What joy for him (and me) to scroll through your incredible pictures and watch the woodpeckers dance. Thank you so much.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

What amazing timing you had. The pictures of the Woodpeckers are so neat, it does look like they are performing a dance.

Rebecca @ In The Garden said...

Beautiful post! You did such a wonderful job capturing the courtship dance. I remember Michael's tree from a previous post, your tribute is so very touching.

Lillebeth said...

Thank you, dear Carol, for the wonderful "bird movie". Never seen anything like it. Kram!

Carol said...

Thank you all for your comments! I am so happy that you enjoyed this Pileated Dance. It was a conscious dance that lasted ten minutes or so... I took over one hundred photos and these are the ones I edited out to share. They repeated movements so I was able to pick thru and keep the flow. Timing and good luck allowed me to have these images to share for sure. I was blown away and so glad I was not wearing my red garden hat. I hear the Pileated Woodpeckers all the time and try so hard to get a shot of them but rarely see them. This was a very rare gift!

On another note... I so appreciate your visits and miss visiting everyone's blog and commenting. I am on the second round of antibiotics and hopefully this will be the cure... I accused a piggy, when it should have been a tacky-ticky! Going into the eleventh week of not being myself I forget who I was. Lyme rhymes with chime and it is not a pleasant visitation of vibrations. My brain simply cannot tolerate the computer much at all anymore... it is just not functioning correctly, which is part why I did not figure out sooner what all the symptoms added up to. Who would think burning brush in January (we had a mild winter) would have exposed me to those sneaky little arachnids! Well now I know. I simply cannot do another post about being ill so hopefully folks will read this and forgive me for not being able to be active right now. I am thankful for all of you and for the beauty in my gardens. I am only able to do about forty percent of my usual but any percent is good to be outside ... in nature ... it heals ... whereas my computer and thinking makes me feel very agitated. It will pass. Thank you! Thank you for all your thoughtful comments and support. I hope you are all enjoying your gardens and that Spring is good to you. Carol

Anja said...

Dear Carol!
I was so happy when I saw that you
had commented on my post!I guess you feel better now?
Your posts are always so wonderful that I do not know what to say...
You are a master at photographing birds. What a pleasure to look at your bird pictures.
Soon I add translation feature from Google again!/Kram, Anja

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

Carol you have a nice 'take' on things. That woodpecker sequence is really good. True character.

Noelle said...

I love how birds mate for life. It is interesting that some bird species - males and females look so similar.

Gail said...

Thank you Carol for sharing that wonderful dance with us~What a gift! Glad to hear you are on the mend from what sounds like a terrible ordeal...Take care~ gail

Jan (Thanks For Today) said...

How thrilling to be a witness to this amazing duet! I have pileated woodpeckers visit, and often two of them together...but never have I seen any antics such as those you described. They usually perch on feeders or attach to sides of trees and hunt for food...Now I am going to be on the lookout!

Cheryl said...

A wonderful dance, thanks for sharing! Hoping each new day finds you feeling a bit better than the day before.

Carole said...

Carol, Pileated Woodpeckers are my favorite bird and your photos are absolutely gorgeous! It's so exciting that you got to share in their dance. And thank you so much for sharing it with us.

Commonweeder said...

The dancing pileated woodpeckers are amazing. You must be really quiet as you walk - or the woodpeckers were totally consumed by their passion. I've noticed so much woodpecker activity this year, in trees by the side of the road - and in the woodland. Populations must be thriving.

Grace Peterson said...

Hi Carol~~ Methinks you'll be seeing baby woodpeckers in short order. What an honor to have such amazing creatures within camera shot!

joey said...

Amazing, Carol ... although enjoy many pileated woodpeckers at the lake, have never seen this before. Thank you.

Zuzu said...

Dear Carol - just wanted to wish you a very happy May Day, and say that I hope that tacky-ticky is on it's way out!!!
Hugs,
Zuzu

Julia said...

I was wondering about the speed of that dance. I'd love to watch them be "in love." You are blessed to have them nearby!!

mike hazeltree thompson said...

Hi Carol, such a lovely post...

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

Oh, my heavens. Your post brought tears to my eye. Words escape me for the moment - I'm overwhelmed at the beauty of these piliated woodpeckers' dance and your prose about Michael, the native cherry, earth. You've touched me deeply.

Anonymous said...

Hi Carol...
Beautiful spot you have!
I do appreciate the pileated dance.

I actually had the opportunity to pet a baby pileated wood pecker.
The red feather that make up their head gear is amazing.

It was on my way to work at a monastery on Buck Mountain
in SW VA. During my drive along the gravel road an unusually intense
red flash caught my attention.
It was startling enough that I stopped and investigated.
There, in the rough edges of the road was a baby pileated wood pecker!
I say baby because it had only short tail feathers,
was a bit clumsy, and didn't fly away.
Baby or not, it was the size of a small crow!

I tried to coax it further off the road and
it tried to fly but mostly hopped down the road.
After several tries it managed to perch itself on a
stick I offered. I was then able
to then stroke the red crown feathers, what a treat!

I was able to place it in the edge of the woods,
next to the large tree where I had found it.
It then actually did take flight and
vanished into the dense woods!

What an experience!

Best wishes...
Pat Murphy

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