Woodsmen have been out in force in our neighborhood over the past few weeks clearing up the mess from November’s freak storm — the metallic whine of their chain saws cuts harshly through the air.
Today as the dogs and I picked our way through the crusty snow out back we heard some more gentle and natural woodsmen at work: pileated wood peckers.
The first one flew in a zig zag over my head as I was walking up a hill. It squawked a slightly frantic, whinnying “keykeykey” before landing on a nearby ash tree and looking down at us, with its big red head cocked to one side as if to say “what are you doing in my woods?” As he watched us and we him, we heard the drumming sound of yet another woodpecker echoing up through the trees and then yet another, or was it the same one trying out another limb. Were they part of the same crew or were they fighting over territory? Whichever, the dogs and I walked home content that nature’s clean-up crew was hard at work.