For the past two mornings, I have been brought back from my slumber into consciousness by an obnoxious sound. Before I share my story, let me first paint a scene in your mind.
Picture a tiny white cottage nestled in the midst of three acres of extensive woodland. The dense underbrush is stippled by towering century-old Maple and Oak trees that seem closer to the sun than to the ground. Branches perpetually invite forest creatures to share their space and many birds use the strong limbs to begin their spring ritual of attracting a potential mate. The songs of the frogs fill the night air as the barred owls call from one tree to another. These soothing noises lull me into sleep.
Mornings are usually accompanied by the soundtrack of chirping birds. The melodies of Chickadees and Red-winged Black Birds are the first strains I hear and they help me welcome the morning with a peaceful sigh…..until yesterday.
My rhythmic breathing was suddenly caught in my throat as I was rudely awakened by the simulated sound of a jack hammer. The noise would stop long enough for me to hear the fading echo and then begin again. In the middle of this wooded sanctuary, a Pileated Woodpecker was pounding his beak on the old TV antenna that is affixed to the house directly beside my bedroom window. This beautiful, albeit destructive bird, truly could not see the forest for the trees. Although surrounded by a plethora of massive trunks, it chose to continue to bang its beak on the metal tower and showed up again this morning to do it all over again.
I caved to the will of the shortsighted bird and got up early to take my dog for a walk. The familiar sounds of the usual morning creatures were there to walk with us and when we got close to home, I heard the familiar banging sound coming from my neighbors house. Out of the myriad number of trees to select from, this bird had found the only two needles in nature’s haystack. I can only wonder how long it will take this feather-brained bird to realize it’s barking up the wrong tree.