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Tuesday - 04/20/2021 — Two of my neighbors have an ongoing feud with woodpeckers. They’ve gone to all sorts of lengths (the neighbors, that is) to fend off the little Downy Woodpeckers and the slightly larger Hairy Woodpeckers. The latest attempt is to hang tin pie plates that rotate and clang against their houses in the slightest breeze.


I, on the other hand, have two tall snags (the leftover trunks of dead trees) that grace my side yard. Neither one is in any danger of damaging the house or phone lines or other people’s property when they eventually will fall. For now, they provide a welcome home and bug-hunting territory for all sorts of critters.


Then there’s the stump near my front door. It used to be a tulip poplar tree. I wrote about it in BeesKnees #3. Here’s what I said:


Then we checked the other hive – and the comb they’d built in there was as bright yellow as the hive itself. I kid you not. BRIGHT yellow. Tommy said he’d never seen anything like that. The thing is, I have this HUGE Tulip Poplar tree in my front yard, and it’s been in full bloom for several weeks. Tommy said he guessed that the bees were pulling all their nectar and pollen from there, and that it was turning the wax yellow. Isn’t that fun?


Eventually, the tree died (rotted from the inside out) as you can see from the big hole in the center of the stump. I asked the tree-removal people to leave me a stump that was about two feet tall. Over the years, the outside gradually rotted away and was invaded with all sorts of bug life. Then this year an enormous pileated woodpecker discovered it and has been pecking away at the base (which is 52 inches in diameter). She’s the one responsible for these huge gouges.


I don’t know how much longer the stump is going to last with her whacking away at it every chance she gets. But I sure do hope my neighbors appreciate that she’s working on my stump instead of on their houses.



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