Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Life Supporting Dead Tree

A woodpecker like the one who comes every morning to the dead live oak I cannot find in the birdbooks. It has a dark red head, not bright red, and a fully black body with no white that I can see. Almost looks purple against the light over the bay. By its characteristic movements, its shape and beak, and its tap tap tapping on the tree trunk, it is definitely of the family woodpecker, but I've never seen one so dark---so lacking in white---so marooon of head. Is it a crossbreed? Does that happen in bird world?

Another wonder of the dead live oak: swarming bees all day every day outside a knot hole in the tree. They look like the same kind of bees that swarm around cultivated bee hives. Honey bees in their natural raw, a phenomenon I've seen only in books and movies before this week. What a gift, this tree. dkm

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