Friday, May 27, 2011

Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down

Last winter I noticed this on our property:

Then I got a pretty good shot of a beautiful Pileated Woodpecker who was getting busy with an ash tree in our front yard:

He made several holes in the center of the tree, and then a bunch more after I took this photo:

After he finished completely gutting the tree, I guess he moved along because we haven't seen (or heard) him again. Maybe he decided to check out a few trees in the hundreds of acres of wooded land just down the road. heh.

As visually captivating as these holes are, they have unfortunate consequences for us. We had a rocking thunderstorm last night and woke up to this:
(Penny is also surveying the damage.)

The center part of the tree that the woodpecker had been so diligently pecking at came down in the storm. Luckily it didn't hit the house, or the cars, or even the potted flowers I had set down along the sidewalk yesterday, so I am not complaining. We'll chop up the fallen branch and add it to our firewood pile; but between losing its main artery and the ash borer that is infecting trees in NY State, I suppose the rest of the tree will have to come down soon.

We try not to micromanage our surroundings too much up here (with the exception of the dang weeds in the vegetable garden) so even though I will miss this lovely tree that shades our yard and house, I might also enjoy having the extra sunshine for my flower garden at the front of the house. Until then though, we will have a rather goofy looking tree in the yard.


Sherri Woodard Coffey said...

Wow! I love the term you used--micro-manage. Now i know what to call what I'm allowing to happen in the small wooded area south of the house.

SamArtDog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SamArtDog said...

was right; Mother Nature is a beast. You're so lucky to have had a pileated wood-p right there in your yard (looking like a pterodactyl) and yet so unlucky to loose a nice tree.

Big up for the "no drill, no spill" yard sign! I assume it's about natural gas drilling. Encana drilled on our land over on the Western Slope and killed the creek and a few neighbors with the pollution caused by fracking. Don't get me started. Don't let them start either.

paula said...

i remember in vermont those guys doing that to the trees and it drove me INSANE.
that was quite an ambition bird. pecker.
sorry you had the collapse, whatcha gonna do...your man gonna deal with it? wood chips for chickadee sh-ts?

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Maybe a spot of micro-management of the woodpecker might be in order?

I had no idea they could do so much damage. I think maybe you've just had "the awful warning"!

magpie said...

whoa! that's some pecking. a reminder that one can do monumental things one step (or peck) at a time.

Happy Little Trees Studio said...

I've never seen such damage done by woodpeckers before. Very cool! Though...I am sorry about your tree!

patty a. said...

Holy cow! that was one busy wood pecker! I have seen and heard some in the wooded part of my yard, but have never seen damage like that. Thank goodness the tree didn't hit the house and no one got hurt. And that drilling - those goofs in Columbus, Ohio are going to let them do fracking in the metro parks. So sad when people don't appreciate what they have.