...an unpaid sabbatical. Just call it a break. I've fallen well short of my original goals for this blog and am too busy to continue at this time. Thanks for the comments and feedback people have given me by email and other means. I will continue to find solace in nature walks, with or without camera and notebook, but I will take at least a two-month break from posting here.
I have been teaching since 1965 and have recently joined the English Department as an Associate Faculty member at Feather River College. Recently taught Nature Literature in America and am currently teaching Interpersonal Communication and Basic Reading and Writing.
Our cat, Hershey, was probably wondering where the bird went, just as I was. So, the subject here is the holes made by the Red-breasted Sapsucker. Upon first sighting of these holes, I wouldn't have known what woodpecker made them. But for several summers in a row, I saw a Red-breasted Sapsucker on my birch trees. Then, I looked up the bird in a field guide and found that it prefers deciduous trees over conifers, and that its holes are usually wider than tall and are made in horizontal rows. This sample from my neighbor's birch tree checks out on all points.
From now on, I think I will recognize the drilling of this bird on other trees. In fact, I think I've seen them on a small ornamental tree planted in the median strip of one of the college's parking lots. I think I'll start parking there until that hypothesis is confirmed or rejected by an actual sighting. My distance vision is not very good, so this way I can be a bird-watcher over a short distance - even while sitting in my car!
I brought this particular log indoors to burn in our wood stove. At first, I was tempted to add it to my collectibles - or collectables; not sure which - a topic for my next blog post. Tentative title: Musings of a Pack Rat.