December 16, 2011

USA: "There's an old hand indicating the passage of time"

LAKE OSWEGO, Oregon / The Elder Storytelling Place / TimeGoesBy / December 16, 2011

Wounded Woodpecker

By Mary B Summerlin who keeps a photostream at Flickr

Last week, one morning had a spectacular beginning. I was moving around in a semi-awake state as is usual for the beginning of my day. I was in the kitchen fixing something for breakfast when I heard a loud thump. I went to the studio to check it out. Opened the sliding glass door and there on the deck floor was a woodpecker, lifeless.

I have a suet feeder right about where he fell. Evidently he got confused, missed the suet and flew into the window knocking himself out. It was a miracle there were no cats around.

I quickly picked him up, held him and went inside for warmth.

I sat there holding him, trying to think of a container to put him in or a safe place to put him but could think of nothing that was better than me holding him. I was afraid that if I put him down somewhere outside one of my animals (two dogs and three cats) would cause a problem.

If I put him down inside and he began to fly around then getting him out would be a big problem. My thinking was that holding him would be short term since he looked healthy. He was a Hairy Woodpecker I think.

So I held him for about five minutes and then he became alert. He started looking around and making strong movements. It was time to go outside and see if he was ready to rejoin nature. I went outside, opened my hand and off he flew – swift and strong.

He chirped “thank you” as he flew away. Now I know what that sound is that I hear most mornings. It’s a Hairy Woodpecker.

While I was holding him, I really wanted to take a picture. What a chance for a close up and I also wanted to document this occasion so my friends would believe me. I had no idea how difficult it is to take a photo with one hand. Friends, it is next to impossible. Of course I didn’t let that stop me. I tried and tried. Finally I got two good ones.

I was so pleased when I saw them on the computer. After rejoicing at my success, another reality hit me. Is that my hand? Can’t be? My hand is not blotchy and wrinkled like that hand. It must be my hand. Seems I had not really noticed or paid attention and there is an old hand indicating the passage of time.

Sometimes things just creep up on me like the blotchy wrinkled hand. But other things are the same since I can remember. I always rescued animals, any kind of animals. Maybe the first bird I ever held, took care of and made pets with were the chickens we raised on the farm.

Mary B Summerlin

© 2011 Ronni Bennett.

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