Woodpeckers and Nuthatches

Sunday, 11 October 2020

Woodpecker has been visiting a lot this week. This month, actually, now that I think about it. And today, while visiting with my brother and Mom on the veranda (social distancing of course) a pileated woodpecker flew overhead, landing on the old clothesline post, then flew to the pine tree. It is so spectacular seeing this bird in flight, a flash of red flying by and a body that is larger than what I’m used to seeing.

I took this photo of a pileated woodpecker in March 2020. ©WQuinn

Earlier today, as I was enjoying breakfast on the veranda, a Downey woodpecker stopped by for some suet. Not at all shy to be around us. Later, I’m not sure if it was Downey or Hairy, but a woodpecker was drumming on the south side of the house, again.

Just now, I stepped outside to retrieve my lap blanket. Stopping in mid-step as two nuthatches were on the veranda. One flew towards me, a foot away from me, resting on the bird feeder my brother made for me. I could reach out and touch him, he was that close. The other was about four feet away, pecking at the pine cones I have stored in a box. I couldn’t hold the position for long and once I moved, they both flew away. This is the first time I have seen two nuthatches at the same time, also the first time they got so close to me. Of course, I looked up Nuthatch in my Animal Speak book and read that nuthatch is the traveling companion to the woodpecker.

“As new rhythms are sounded out (woodpecker), the nuthatch works to bring them down out of the ethereal realms and ground them into physical life. Anyone with a nuthatch as a totem should also study the woodpecker, and vice versa.”

Nuthatch, Dictionary of Bird Totems p. 169, Animal Speak by Ted Andrews
This photo of a nuthatch was taken May 2019. ©WQuinn

So, what does all of this mean? Honestly, I have no idea. LOL! Sometimes when I read the spiritual meanings behind certain signs, the meaning resonates with me and I totally get it and understand it. Other times it’s like I read the words, they float through my brain and out the backside. Those times I tend to file it all away and trust that whatever I’m meant to know I will know when I need to know it. I mean, sometimes signs are just sign posts on the journey letting you know where you are, or that you’re not alone or that you’re on the right path.

But when do you sit up and take notice that it’s more than a sign post? When it happens over and over and over. So much so it becomes ridiculous. Or it’s right in your face. Like this evening with the nuthatch. He was right in my face. There was no denying that was something more than a bird looking for sunflower seeds. Same as the pileated woodpecker. He flew three feet in front of my face, twice! Then today, he flew right over my head and stayed long enough for all three of us to see him and acknowledge his presence. The daily woodpeckers, the almost daily drumming on the house.

As I write this, I get the sense the meaning of these signs, for me, is to move to the beat of my own inner drum. I am, and have always been, the type of person to wait for someone else to lead, to show me how to do things, how to build, paint, write… But lately, I’ve been getting the messages that I need to lead, to do my own thing, to break out of the mold, to be my individual self, to accept gifts, that it’s ok to be different, to do things differently.

Ha, it’s funny I’m writing this tonight because this afternoon my brother spoke about this very thing. See George, you’re wiser and more intuitive than you give yourself credit for! 😉

So…instead of scouring Pinterest for ideas on what to do with the pine cones, and instead of browsing Etsy for ideas on how to sell the pine cones, I’m going to go within and reflect on what’s best for me and these pine cones.

It’s exciting and terrifying at the same time.

Stay tuned!

Today’s photos

Sun rays beam over the backyard
Sun rays this morning. Photo of the day, 11 Oct 2020 ©WQuinn

Planted daffodil and tulip bulbs this afternoon; view of the backyard; morning view from the veranda; yellow petunias still going strong; geese coming in for lunch.