What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Plucky Little Woodpecker UPDATED

If you are one of my Facebook friends you most likely have been following the saga of the red-bellied woodpecker family in my neighborhood.  I became intrigued with this little family a few weeks ago when I heard the constant rat-a-tat-tat of Mr. Red Belly Woodpecker, faithfully hammering away at his new home in the old dead pine tree not far from my home.  What was especially interesting was that I could actually hear him working from inside the tree as I took my evening walk. I couldn't see him, but the incessant pecking revealed his location...and the ever increasing hole in the side of the tree became more and more obvious each day.

Soon I noticed more than one woodpecker flying around this tree every time I'd get close, and calling to one another.

Then one evening as I strolled by, I looked up, and there was someone watching me from the opening in the tree...

 Hello Mrs. Red Belly! How are you today?  She kept a wary eye on me, as she nervously watched the sky above as though looking for someone to come to the rescue...

Sure enough, it wasn't long before her protector came in for a landing...

and most likely brought some juicy bugs for supper.

Life went on like this for several more days...Everything seemed to be going just fine for Mr. and Mrs. Red Belly.  I looked forward to our evening visits.  They seemed to be getting used to me and didn't seem quite so nervous about my presence.  I was hoping that someday soon I might even get to meet the children...

However, one sultry spring evening the sky grew dark and stormy. The air was thick with humidity as the winds picked up and thunder could be heard rolling in from the west.  As we humans settled into our home and made sure everything was tight and secure, I wondered how our fine feathered friends might be faring.  Hopefully their nest was snug and dry inside the old snag of a dead pine tree.

When I awoke the next morning and pulled out of our driveway to head for work, I looked down the road to my left to the area where the "woodpecker tree" was located. Something looked different...there was a lot of debris on the road, and it seemed like something was missing in the sky. Instead of turning right to drive to the highway and work, I turned left and drove the short distance to where the woodpecker tree was supposed to be...and this is what I saw:

The top of the tree was missing...

And as I zoomed in, to my horror I could see the forlorn little woodpecker standing atop what used to be his nest...surveying the damage of his home.

If you look closely, you can see the round bottom of the entrance to the nest, but the rest of the nest and tree was completely blown away.

The shattered and splintered remains were strewn along the road...actually they had been all over the road but someone had already cleared the way so cars could get through.

A closer view of the actual inside of the nest...

My heart was broken for this sweet little family.  I don't know what happened to the eggs or baby birds that were most likely inside this nest.  I assume they were blown away when the tree crashed to the ground. This literally made me sick and sad.  But I had to move on and get to work. I couldn't spend my day crying over destroyed woodpecker nests.  I thought to myself that there are certainly more important issues going on in the world right now than this...so why should I be so affected?

The first thing I did when I got home that evening was run down the road to search for the woodpecker family...Would they even still be around?  Would there be any sign of activity in or around their former home? What would they do? Where would they go?

As I walked down the road there was a familiar sound..."rat-a tat tat....rat a tat tat....rat a tat tat...."
loudly reverberating in the air...sort of like the sound of a machine gun firing...rapidly repeating....

But this time it was coming from the opposite side of the road...directly across from where the old tree stood.  Rat a tat tat.....rat a tat tat....rat a tat tat....

There was that plucky little woodpecker pecking away as hard as he could. He wasn't wasting any time at all building a new home for his family!

The very first night this is how far he had gotten in opening up the door to this new nest.  

He has labored night and day for the past few days...and today this is what I discovered:

Sorry this is kind of blurry...it was getting late...but look at the progress he has made!

This is an even better view

Rat a tat tat

Rat a tat tat

Checking it out...working on the inside...rat a tat tat!

Gotta keep pecking away!

He can get his whole head inside the nest now!!!

I am so proud of this plucky little woodpecker!  He has continued working on this new nest for several days...gotta get it ready in time!  Mama Red Belly must be getting desperate for a place to lay her eggs.  

So, I've been trying to pull some kind of lesson from this story...

My first thought was...this is an excellent example of the title theme for this blog...

"Closed Doors...Open Windows...When God closes a door, He opens a window"....

When the storms of life come along and destroy our carefully laid out plans, dreams, and security...don't give up!  Take a lesson from this plucky little woodpecker...When one door closes,  (or one nest blows away), get up and move on.  Open your eyes and look around, and trust God to lead you to something even better...and then get to work!

In this case, the original tree wasn't really an ideal location.  The tree was already leaning over quite severely.
The original woodpecker tree the evening before the storm came
 When the woodpecker pecked away at the interior of the tree to create his nest, it was right in the leaning portion of the top of the tree.  When the winds and rains came along, it didn't take much to break off that weakened, hollowed out section of the tree...and thus the nest was destroyed.  This time the woodpecker has chosen a better tree that, although an old dead tree, it is straight and strong.  I don't think it will be as easy to break.  

So another lesson would be to choose wisely in the first place...

"How lovely is Your tabernacle, O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

Even the sparrow (woodpecker?) has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young..
Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts,
My King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
They will still be praising You.

Blessed is the man whose strength is in YOU,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a spring;
the rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength;
each one appears before God in Zion.

O Lord of hosts, hear my prayer;
Give ear, O God of Jacob!

O God, behold our shield,
and look upon the face of Your anointed.

For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold 
from those who walk uprightly.

O Lord of hosts,
Blessed is the man who trusts in You!"

Psalm 84


Obviously, this is a story that will have to be continued...so stay tuned for further developments.

4/19/15:  Here are the latest pictures from the new Woodpecker Nest!  I am SO proud of this Plucky Little Woodpecker.  He never stopped until he could peck out a nest within the new tree.  This is what I saw tonight:

Hey! Look at me!  I made it!  I now have a safe new home inside this tree!!!

Gotta get up to the rooftop to view my new kingdom!

I'm almost there!

Ahhh Yes!!! The view is great from up here!

All is well!  Now we can wait for the babies to be hatched!

Probably not the end...so keep watching!


  1. Pam, you really have a gift for seeing and capturing these wonderful lessons in nature! Seriously. This was fascinating to read and the pics were amazing. Very cool!

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed it. While I was writing I kept thinking, "so what's your point?" I guess the point is to enjoy what God has placed before us...and share it with the world. There's too much ugly stuff out there these days, so I hoped this would be refreshing. Thank you for coming to visit us! :)

  2. Through your eyes of faith, we can learn a lesson from the Woodpecker, to not give up when the storms of life comes upon us. God is faithful to be us in these storms and provide a better tomorrow! Thanks Pam for sharing and I hope all is well with the woodpecker family!

    1. Thank you Sylvia! I'm so glad that you understand the message here. I hope anyone reading will find something of value here, even if it is just to enjoy God's wonderful creation for a while and take a break from the hard stuff in the world. Please stop by any time!

  3. I surely did enjoy this continuing story, Pam! So many wonderful applications to be taken from the tenacity of this Mr. Red Belly to provide a home for his family. Thank you so much for sharing it here...I would have hated to have missed it. xo

    1. Thank you Dianna! I've had such fun watching them. I love to see how God's creation perseveres in the face of adversity! It is a good lesson for us. Thank you for noticing this and stopping by for a visit! I always love to 'chat' with you! Have a blessed day my friend.


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