no one takes you seriously when you wear polka dots


unless you are a woodpecker who has met an untimely end in mary jo hoffman’s back yard. then your polka dots get taken with the utmost seriousness, and kept in the sacred fallen woodpecker feather box. there are times when i could wish i didn’t empathize quite so completely with the animal world and its inevitable disappointments and minor tragedies. but on the other hand, i would never choose to be so impoverished as to lose touch with it. so my heart fills, and breaks, and gets put back together again.

woodpecker feathers

saint paul, minnesota

  • Katrina says:

    Same at our house. I can’t develop any sort of thick skin when it comes to wildlife fatalities – especially when I have an ongoing battle with the neighbor’s cats.
    I am thankful that there are other people in the world whose hearts still break over a woodpecker.

  • Kerry says:

    The French do!

  • I have been known to go out into our backyard and announce out loud ‘There will be no murders here’, especially when blue jays are hanging around the sparrows’ bird houses in the spring. I did a painting of woodpecker feathers I found on a walk with Meeko. A bittersweet find. A sad ending for the woodpecker but I feel lucky to have its feathers and to be able to admire them at close range.

    • I love that..’there will be no murders here.’ I’ll have to try it!
      You are a kindred spirit indeed.
      Mary Jo

  • Kim says:

    I also have a beloved collection of woodpecker feathers :-) I have taken a screen cap of this and many others of your posts – they make wonderful desktop wallpapers!


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