Longleaf Stories

full circle in the hundred acre wood

I am seeing woodpeckers high up in the standing snags in one particular neighborhood of the woods. It is a circular cul de sac, formed by a convergence of fire line paths. To my naked eye, they look rather dull colored, except when they fly. Then, I see white patches on their wings.

I have taken a few pictures of them, but without a telephoto lens and more knowledge than I have, the birds remain dull colored and incognito in the morning light.

Buck reminds me that we have a fine pair of small Leica binoculars. He finds them for me, unzips the case, unwinds the cord, and drapes them over my neck. “There, now. Go out and identify your bird.”

I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this.

The contrast between my naked eye’s ability to see and the reality brought in close by those binoculars was staggering. The birds’ color blocks were so sharp, they looked like paint by number birds.

We all have forgotten tools in our toolboxes. Scratch around. Never know what you’ll find.



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