Hermiting in the Woods

Since neither my sister nor I felt great after our vaccinations, we didn’t do dinner tonight. That, combined with the fact that it’s the first night of Daylight Savings Time led me to decide to spend some quiet time in the woods.

Hermits’ Rest woods just before the trees leaf out.

It wasn’t a quiet time, because there were so many birds, mostly white-crowned sparrows, mourning doves, mockingbirds and cardinals.

The female cardinal was chirping away when I took this.

I just wandered slowly (I left the dogs in the house) so I could see the birds, hear the creek flowing away, and enjoy the new leaves budding.

The creek makes a wide spot where lots of fish live.

It always smells good in the damp woods (even with the cow poop scattered around). It’s especially musty and lovely by the seep, the springy area in the woods that never dried up at all last year. I crouched beside it a long time, listening to birds and watching them fly around.

It’s like my own baby swamp!

While I was there, I heard a loud bird sound, then something big flew by. I was enchanted, and I confirmed my hunch when I heard a hammering sound. It then flew by again, with a flash of black, white and red. It was the biggest pileated woodpecker I ever saw.

Photo taken yesterday in Virginia by Bob Hass.

While I’ve seen them here before, never so close and so large. No, no photo. I was using my eyes!

Eventually I stopped being a hermit and joined Lee for a walk around the pond behind the house with the dogs. That’s always so relaxing. I was captivated by the perfection of dandelion seed heads and a little circle of verbena. A nice evening.

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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