As soon as I noticed the black sky rolling into view from the 5th
floor at the Dream-job yesterday, I knew where it had already been...
One of the many interesting things about the people who live in the estates along
famed Seventeen Mile Drive in Pebble Beach and in Carmel is that they name
them. My favorite in Pebble Beach is Wit's End, once owned by cartoonist Jimmy
blows through our neighborhood, I think about hanging a Wit's End sign out on
the fence along the driveway. Although, Storm Canyon might be a better fit!
Surveying the damage, we know we were fortunate to have lost only the tops of
two trees. Even better, if trees can fall correctly, I'm happy to report that this
tulip poplar did... Missing our garden lantern and gazing balls by just inches!
Whew, that was close!
It's amazing how abruptly the landscape can change. Now that
the top of our walnut tree is missing, there is so much less
shade covering the hostas and Japanese maples planted below!
What a mess! On top of it, power was cut to our area for nearly 20
hours. We own a generator so we fared a bit better than some of our
neighbors who are replacing all the food in their refrigerators today!
Despite everything, we are mostly grateful. Especially because
the creek didn't rise enough this time to flood the yard and wash
away all the new koi we stocked into the pond last weekend!
Remember the woodpecker I talked about a few weeks ago here?
I'm about to tell you a sad story with a happy ending...
However, before it gets happy, the story involves a snake. So while
you're looking at my pretty flowers and a bee's butt right now, I
want to warn you that if you hate snakes as much as I do now is
the time to click away and find something prettier to look at!
If you're still with me, I know you'll be as upset as I am to learn that
just before yesterday's storm, this was the scene in our yard... That's a
very large black rat snake feasting on one of my beloved woodpeckers!
I didn't know what kind of snake this was but when I posted the photo to my
facebook page, my sweet cousin in Arkansas identified it as a black rat snake. She
also let me know my woodpecker was a Northern Flicker. Army dad did his best
all night to convince me this wasn't the woodpecker I watched from the pool that
day. At one point he even said it might have been a hawk. Like that would make it
better... All night I couldn't sleep, wondering what this would mean to her babies
in the nest if this was my woodpecker. The first thing I did after our WIFI came
back up this morning was to research whether or not the babies would have been
mature enough to already have flown away... If this was indeed my woodpecker!
Army dad and I have a deal... He will cut the head off any snake he believes
might hurt us or the children next door. He did that for me last year here
The only thing that saved this snake from meeting its maker yesterday is that
one of us thinks it is beneficial to the landscape because it is supposed to eat
voles and moles that destroy his plants. However, now that I know this snake
also eats innocent woodpeckers hopping around the ground collecting ants and
other bugs to feed their babies, it better not catch me with a shovel in my hand!
This morning while watching the clean-up I kept hearing a bird call I
thought might be a woodpecker. As I walked around looking up at the
trees I prayed it wasn't a baby calling for its mommy, especially since
this is the exact area in our yard where the snake ate the woodpecker!
But it was!
Just above the spot in the yard where the woodpecker died, we located her nest!
How could Mother Nature be so cruel? Of course, I began to cry and
begged him to bring over his ladder so we could rescue this baby bird!
I got really insistent about it after seeing there was more than one!
Finally, someone took me seriously and kicked out
the ladder. But just as he was about to make the climb...
Daddy woodpecker swooped in to feed his babies!
And, that's how Mother Nature redeemed herself with me today!
Happy Father's Day, daddy woodpecker!