Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Introducing ...

... Melanerpes carolinus, more commonly referred to as the Red-bellied Woodpecker. As I was leaving for work this morning, I heard his rapping against one of the trees close to my house (but not on my property). He's not hard to miss if you look in his general direction, with his red-topped head. Of course, for all I know, he can be a she (I'm not a birder, and I'm sure there is an easy way to tell the two apart). I decided today to get a closer look at this fellow, so I grabbed my astronomy binocs from out of my car (I keep them in the trunk in case I ever get the urge to star-gaze while I'm out at night and find a nice dark spot) and trained them in his direction. It's the first time I used these binocs to bird watch and man was it impressive. It was as if I could reach out beyond the binocs and grab onto this guy. He was oblivious to me, going about his way rubbing up against the tree, and flicking (yes, I could see him flicking) his tongue here and there, presumably to catch some bugs that only he could see.

Watching him for a few minutes really was a great experience, one that I will remember for quite some time. I only hope that I might be able to share such experiences with my future kids, nieces, and nephews ... and that in turn, they also may be able to pass down a love and appreciation for nature and Earth's beautiful creatures. Their ability to be able to do so is up to us.

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