Moby peck

The big raucous pileated woodpeckers in our corner of the Ouachita Mountains have been the Moby Dick to my Ahab-ic photographic ambitions. For years, I’ve tried to capture a decent photo, but they’ve proven elusive, skittish and pretty good at hiding for something so large and loudly colored. But finally, FINALLY, one very vocal female lit in a tree this morning, not far from our living room window. And there she is.

Pileated in the poke

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.