It isn't unusual for me to do that--drop everything, grab my camera, and run out the door to see if I can find the woodpecker that just announced his presence. My camera is my trusty companion on these ventures, like a third eye, allowing me to see more deeply and freeze the moment so I can savor it and comprehend more of what it means. Time and time again, this leads to an intimate connection with the subject. And of course, when that happens, I want to share the experience and sketch it.
As often as I hear Red-Bellied woodpeckers, this week was the first time I've had an opportunity to get close enough or had long enough to capture a few good shots. (My favorite is in the previous post.) And wouldn't you know, I had to leave before he did in order to keep an appointment--but not before he gave me this surprising look at his tongue!
He didn't appear to be yawning, simply stretching his mouth the way we might try to loosen up some peanut butter to swallow it...in this case it would be, loosening up some grubs. But what was really fun happened later, after I returned home. He came back again with a berry snack in mind. In the image above he is looking up at the limb of berries, and faster than I could focus, he flew up and grabbed one and returned to the Dogwood trunk again.Only because I had this series of images to review, did I notice the size of the berry in relation to his mouth and that he was swallowing as he perched. Since the images below are frame by frame, seconds apart, it appears (and I emphasize appears--one can only guess) that he stretched his head back to aid swallowing.Feat accomplished.Just before parting he gave me this wonderful look at his beautiful red crown and nape, set off by his stunning black and white plumage. A day-making encounter.Coming up: Some catching up--Red-headed woodpeckers at Necedah and more on my Ijams Nature Park meadow walk .
Linked to Bird Photography Weekly #59, at Birdfreak.com to promote the conservation of our world's birds.
For the Love of It...
...the sage sees heaven reflected in Nature as in a mirror, and he pursues this Art, not for the sake of gold or silver, but for the love of the knowledge which it reveals.