LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Other Side of the Tree

Thank you for your comments on my last post. The reason for the post was to remind all of us just how tenuous our grip on life can be. I was extraordinarily healthy, had NONE of the predisposing factors for gastric ulcer, and NONE of the warning signs and symptoms before that day. My case was certainly atypical, but it happened nonetheless. Fortunately I have no long-term effects, and it's as if it never happened. I must admit that I did worry a bit that I never saw the "light" and no one encouraged me to come over or go back. But I didn't see goblins either so I suppose if I wasn't at the gate of Heaven, at least I wasn't at the gate of Hell either.

Now, on with the blog:

Our Pileated Woodpeckers started bringing their fledgling near the feeder and I cannot tell you how many hours I spent trying to get a good photograph. It just was not to be. The lighting was terrible and the birds in constant movement.



Here the baby waits for a feeding.



And here is the baby getting fed. And of course, it's like so many other great birds. It's on the other side of the tree.
Each and every feeding that I observed was on the back side of the tree, almost as if the woodpeckers had it planned. So I do apologize that I was not able to give you a good look. I doubt that the Pileateds will have another nesting this year. But there's always next year.


20 comments:

Bird Girl said...

You really did have a 'brush with death' but if you were alert enough to know what that big 'nurse' word was, I doubt you were going to have a near death experience ;-) But these kinds of things are food for thought about being ready when the time does come!

I can see why it was difficult for you to get a picture - the light is behind the woodpecker making it impossible to get the detail you'd like. If you could just figure out a way to get them when the light is behind YOU and shining ON them - then you'd have it made. I think you got the best picture you could get in this situation - gorgeous crests they have!

Rudee said...

I feel the same way about the nervous little goldfinch family living in my neighbor's tree and visiting the birdbath daily. The absolute moment they become aware that I'm outdoors with them, they stop visiting.

I never saw a light or goblins at the delivery of my last child, but I did tell my husband goodbye. My blood pressure had dropped into the nether regions after much blood loss. It felt peaceful for a moment and then the next thing you know, I was back.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

I laughed when you said the Pileated was always on the other side when you tried to take photos of the feeding. I had the same problem this summer when I tried to take photos of a Pileated -- I think some birds have a sense about them to beware of humans. Can you blame them?

Nance said...

I still loved the shots you got. Pileateds are such beautiful birds and I'd never seen a fledgling.

Funny thing: Another blogger acquaintance of mine was hospitalized about 6 months ago in the same circumstances and her condition was similarly dire. She had no clue she even had an ulcer and she feels grateful to be alive today. We know a lot more about the causes of ulcers now than we did twenty years ago, but we seem less generally aware of them. Time was, everyone worried about getting an ulcer all the time. Now, all I seem to hear about is sudden, critical ruptures! Wonder why?

KGMom said...

Even if it is on the other side of the tree, the light shining through that red top is worth the pic!

Busy Bee Suz said...

The parents must be camera shy.
Cute photos nonetheless.

You are right, our health is a precious gift.

From the Kitchen said...

I just met you you on another blog and am glad that I stopped by. First, your lovely header photo reminds me of the valley and mountains where I grew up--Roanoke, VA. My husband and I have given thought to retiring back to that area or to North Carolina. Secondly, I loved reading about your dog(s). We, too, have "parented" a best dog in the world. We lost our second dalmatian about two months ago. We were lucky enough to get a "returned" dog from our breeder. We are falling in love again.

Best,
Bonnie

Vicki Lane said...

Nothing to apologize for in these shots! Love being able to get a good look at the baby.

George said...

Our pileated woodpeckers behave exactly the same way. I think they must have built-in camera detectors.

troutbirder said...

Camera shy for sure. Still you did good.

Barb said...

Looks like a woodpecker covert operation to me! I've enjoyed your fledgling photos.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I haven't had a 'brush' with death, Carolyn, like you had---but I certainly have had my entire life altered these past couple of months. For a hiker not to be able to walk is HORRIBLE--as you can imagine.

Love your Pileateds.... Didn't you tell that Daddy (or Mama) to come around on your side of the tree --so you could get a better shot???? ha (I think birds do that on purpose!!!!! ha)
Hugs,
Betsy

amarkonmywall said...

Happy Belated birthday to you and isn't life ever so much better than it was this time last year? Although last year, on the 30th I guess you were already counting your blessings. Now we have to continue to send healthy vibes Roger's way. I love your little red headed baby and he's another reminder not to postpone joy.

Victoria said...

The photos of the baby backlit by the sun are beautiful, even if the parent was less than cooperative. These pictures are great - no need for an apology!

canyoncottage said...

I love their little red hats!

Jayne said...

When something like that happens to us out of the blue, it's even more disconcerting. But, that's what things like bleeding ulcers do. They rear their heads when they are at their worst stage. So glad you had a spouse who knew what you needed and advocated for you.

Heck, I'd be ticked to even get to SEE those Pileateds, let along photograph them! Lucky you!!

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments.

Rudee - Interesting that you told your husband goodbye. I never once thought during the ordeal that I wasn't going to make it. Although the gastroenterologist told me months later that he was delighted to see me so healthy since he wasn't at all sure I would survive.

Nance - When I was in nursing school we were taught about the gnawing pain and symptoms that always presented with an ulcer. I had none of them.

Kitchen - Thanks for dropping by. I'm so glad you found another dog so soon.

Markonmywall - Oh, yes. Roger is much on my mind.

TSannie said...

I would be SO EXCITED if I had a pileated family! How very wonderful for you!

robin andrea said...

Love that Pileated fledgling! How lucky to have that charmer hanging around your yard. Beautiful!

Twisted Fencepost said...

I hate it when that happens!
But look at it this way....you did get a great shot of the parent!