Another thing I have missed over this sorry sad year past is any and all of the woodpeckers. BCC they had been so common in the holler that you could hear one drumming away for insects at just about any time that you set your ear to listening. Often their loud call would cause me to look up from my work and watch one zig-zagging its way up the holler, back and forth from ridge side to ridge side, as if it were trying to lace the holler shut with an invisible string.
But this year, without the insects, I haven't seen or heard nary a one, till today.
I stood under these beech trees on this east ridge and listened across the holler to the rapid tapping, and tried to pinpoint its location in my minds eye from the sound and my personal friendliness with pert near every tree on the pasture ridge across the way. Hard to be sure of something when that is what you strongly want it to be, but after a little bit, it let loose with that unmistakable call as it moved from the west ridge to the south ridge of the little side hill. Finally! a woodpecker has come back to the holler.