A Few Welcome (And A Few Unwelcome) Guests

Thought I’d share a few photos of some recent visitors to my home. Today was the first day I have been able to capture on camera the ever-elusive Pileated Woodpecker, one of the largest woodpeckers, not only in North America, but also the world. I hear their calls from the woods quite regularly, but they don’t usually show their face. When they do, I never seem to have my camera ready. I had it today, hoping to catch a glimpse of the ruby-throated hummingbirds that have been coming around lately. As I was watching my feeders, I heard some noise coming from up in one of our wild black cherry trees. There were several birds eating the ripe fruit…including one very large male Pileated Woodpecker.

I was able to also capture a couple shots of a hummingbird as well. It was a good morning, even if I couldn’t get very clear shots with my excited hands shaking.

I added some pics of some wriggly visitors as well. Not everyone likes them but I find them fascinating.

Pileated Woodpecker amongst the cherries. The red streak on the cheek is how it was identified as a male. Females have either a black or gray streak instead of the red. They are otherwise nearly identical.


Same bird on a different treewoodpecker5

You can really see that bright red crest from this anglewoodpecker3

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Only the males have the ruby coloring, but it is still a pretty little bird.hummingbird

Hovering on the back side of the feeder. Not a good shot at all, but hey, it’s still a hummingbird.hummingbird2

Pests in the garden. Two (out of several that I found) Tobacco Hornworms that have been feasting on our tomatoes. They are similar to Tomato Hornworms, but the white pattern on the body is noticeably different. Though quite destructive to tomato plants, these are some nice-looking caterpillars…well, as much as caterpillars can be considered nice-looking. They are quite large (up to 5 inches) and turn into some equally large and nice-looking Carolina Sphinx moths.caterpillar3

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillarcaterpillar

Closeup of one of the “eyespots” complete with eyebrow. 🙂caterpillar2

15 thoughts on “A Few Welcome (And A Few Unwelcome) Guests

    1. Thank you sir. I was hoping for clearer shots, but I was happy to get what I got.

      And yes, evolution is a marvelous thing. The changes and adaptations of animals over time is fascinating to witness and admire. Funny how (in my mind) just a few years back, evolution was nothing more than a made up story created only to deceive. That is how it was taught to me and that is what I believed. Guess I’ve evolved a bit myself.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Evolution always sounds silly until you actually learn about it from someone who doesn’t have an ‘anti-evolution’ bias. Back in high school I had a biology teacher who believed in Intelligent Design. He asked us to do some essay where we had to compare the two and debate the ‘controversy’. Up until that point I didn’t believe in evolution, but then I started to see how much more sense it made. Probably not the result my teacher was hoping for… lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, probably not. Funny how things turn out. This is not where I, or anyone who knew me, thought I’d be at this point in my life. It is what it is though. I now follow the truth instead of the crowds. Crowds are overrated anyway. A person can be quite brilliant, but people tend to be stupid. A person is much more likely to search for the truth when they are on their own. Place them in a crowd and what happens? They try to blend in. People in crowds are more likely to rely more on their emotions rather than what is real.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Fascinating, Ben! We have both the woodpeckers and hummingbirds here; we don’t put up feeders b/c they also bring hornets. I’ll tell you, though, many around here have hummingbird feeders and the activity is amazing!
    Our son had a visitor early yesterday morning. He had just replaced the screen in the patio door and about 5 in the morning they woke up to noises in the house. Upon investigation, it was discovered that a small racoon (its mother was outside making menacing noises) had somehow wandered into the dining room (they think it had discovered a small crack in the patio door after it hadn’t been closed all the way and pushed it open enough to get inside). He tried shoeing it out with a pole and it didn’t work; in fact it just climbed up the patio door screen. He then had no choice – he poked the corner out of the screen and out it tumbled! Another replacement job on the weekend. 🙂 As my husband says, “That’s what you get for living in the woods!”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yikes. I see plenty of raccoons in my travels, but haven’t had one come to visit here. Well, at least not that I am aware of. Something did eat a fish out of our koi pond one night. I found the scales and bones, but no sign of the culprit. Sounds like something a racoon would do, but who knows.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great shots, Ben. Aren’t we so fortunate to have these beautiful animals living amongst us? The woodpeckers are really beautiful. I have one that shows up at my place in Nashua occasionally. It looked so unusual we thought it was tropical when it first showed up.

    Love your photos, Ben, keep ’em comin’!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Fortunate indeed. Its funny that you thought of something tropical when seeing this woodpecker, because that’s what it’s call reminds me of. It sounds like a jungle bird…or maybe some sort of monkey. I had heard the sound coming from the woods for years and years before finally learning what animal was making it.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup. Been busy with work and children being back to school. Lots of mandatory overtime means less time for enjoying life and doing the things that make me happy, like writing. Been meaning to share a bit but haven’t felt able to. Too much work and not enough sleep.

      I’m still around though. Good to hear from you. Hope all is well with you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. All are 100% at our spot. I guess we should be grateful we have work during this crazy period.
        I shudder when I think of those who have been fired (let go) or whose business has collapsed b ecause of lockdowns etc

        I was just checking in.
        Sometimes blogpals drop off the radar and then one wonders what ever happend to so and so.

        As long as you and yours are well and healthy, that’s great.

        All the best

        Liked by 1 person

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