The rather violent movement in the formidable pokeweed downslope from the house caught our eye and camera. The resulting shot made us think of  Michael Martin Murphey’s mid-70s hit  “Carolina in the Pines.”  Except, it’s more like “Pileated in the Poke,” just not as melodic.

PEEK-A-BOO WOODPECKER — Pileated woodpecker was thrashing away in the poke sallet, wresting berries from their stems.  The pokeweed has been very popular this drought year with deer browsing the leaves off the bottom three feet of stems as well as the cardinals and other birds who make use of the berries.

12 thoughts on “Pileated in the poke

  1. Cute little guy. Good eye with the camera to catch this shot. Believe it or not I saw a flock of woodpeckers once — a rare site for me. They were a bigger species than this one. This one looks like Woody.

  2. Looks like a good crop of poke salad, I have a friend who would be harvesting that for dinner! Good eating!

    1. The poke went crazy this year. It started off very early, emerging in Feb. I harvest the early leaves for a friend of mine that teaches foraging classes. This is one crop that will keep giving all the way through September with little care.

      1. I like it sometimes, my friend fixes hers with a little bacon grease and bacon for seasoning and it is gone in just a little while. It is too bad that you can’t plant it but the birds do an excellent job of doing that! God bless you!

  3. I nevr knew you could eat poke weed leaves! You learn something new every day! I’ll have to try it sometime.

    That woodpecker must have been a delight to capture when you first realized what it was.

    1. Just wash them really well, otherwise they are gritty! You cook them similar to turnip greens or spinich!

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