This morning as I walked along the ridge line farm road, I noticed a bird flying in my direction. I stopped to watch its flight. As the bird flew directly over my head, I immediately recognized it as a pileated woodpecker - very large and very distinct. Then, the bird disappeared.
Did said bird land in the tree only feet from my location or did it continue its flight into the adjacent woods? I did not have to wonder too long as I immediately heard the familiar ‘rat-a-tat-tat’ of a woodpecker.
My excitement grew as I realized the bird had landed in the tree. I slowly took a few steps backwards. Looking upward, I had an amazing view of this pileated. He (verifiable by the red moustache which the female does not exhibit) seemed unconcerned by my presence. A definite rare opportunity for me to observe from not only such a proximity but also for more than a brief second which is usually my norm with this species.
The dogs were patient with me and quietly laid down while I took an unintended but fabulous break from my walk.
I remained as long as this woodpecker. My glance did not waver. Within minutes, the woodpecker flew into the woods and vanished. I continued on my way much richer than I was only moments ago.
As I have mentioned many times before, the little things in life make a BIG difference. I recommend to anyone to open your eyes just a bit wider and to enjoy the moment. You, too, will be rewarded.