Red-headed beauty

What made me turn back on the trail, I do not know. I was running downhill, towards the creek, when I looked behind, to see if he was near. My first thought was to continue to the water and wait, stretch there, breathe in the cool, refreshing air. Instead, I turned and headed back uphill. As I rounded the bend, my sweetie was motioning to me, silently. “Hurry, hurry,” he said in mime. “Quickly, quietly, get your ample ass up this hill. There is a surprise awaiting.”

I bounded as boundily as I could up the little hill and slowed down, to quiet my feet. He walked towards me and whispered in my ear. “A pileated (pill-eeh-ated or pile-ee-ated) woodpecker is right off the trail. Shhhhhh.”

I tip-toed another 10 feet and squinted my glass-free eyes into the forest. Ohhhhh, there he was. A beautiful, crow-sized, red-headed beauty, pecking away at the soft innards of an old tree, grubbing for grubs. They are said to be shy, but not this girl. Or boy — they are similar except that the male has a red stripe from bill to neck. We didn’t catch that detail at the time. Regardless, this prize was pecking away right off the trail and not much of a wallflower at all. Such a precious gift! What made me turn back on the trail? A transferrance of energy from my guy on the trail, who was hoping I’d turn around, excited to share? The simple, stupid fact that I’m working to heal a leg with a long-term injury that needs extra strength workouts (so I can beat myself up in a 25K trail run in a couple of months)? Who knows. These things defy gravity. But I’m sure glad I did. One can never be sure…..what will happen next. That was one magnificent bird! Listen: Click here

(Photo found here)


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. BadAssKona
    Dec 29, 2010 @ 05:45:20

    I was so excited!! Sure glad you came back to find me….


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