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A Woodpecker Walk

Our eleventh Rideau Trail walk, the longest yet, covered snowy terrain through woods, along a railway, and into a residential area.  The theme of this walk seemed to be woodpeckers, but we noticed a lot of other interesting things, such as this tree.

 We found fairly large skeleton with extra bumps on the spine toward the neck, but I haven?t yet figured out what it could have been.  I didn’t want to post a photo.

These clusters of berries are probably highbush cranberries.  The single flattened round pit in each berry is a major identifying feature, but I’d have to see the bushes in the summer and check leaf shapes before actually tasting them.

We passed a mysterious and very sturdy length of fencing, completely unconnected to anything else.  Anyone or anything could walk around both ends of the fence.  A little further on was another segment, similarly disconnected.  These arbitrary lengths of disconnected fencing continued for quite a section of the walk.  It was, as Alice in Wonderland would say, ?Curiouser and curiouser.? 


And then we saw these fresh wood-pecker holes, with resin dripping out of them.

Perhaps this downy woodpecker was the fellow who made them?

He certainly looks busy enough.  You can even see he’s moving his beak.  Perhaps he caught something.

Here he’s trying to get some more yummy food.

If you could line all our woodpecker photos up as in those little flip books we used to play with when we were children, you?d almost see its head move.  I don?t know how to set up a slide show which could have the same effect (anyone willing to tell me how?) so I’ve just posted some of the pictures.


 We have about 11 more km to walk before reaching the Ottawa end of the Rideau Trail.

Thanks to Mr. 15 of Teen Geek for the photos. 

Details:  Walk #11 (January 13) was from Corkstown Road to Holly Acres Road on map #15 in the Rideau Trail Guidebook.  It was chilly, and the ground was covered with snow.  We walked about 6.5 km. 

The downy woodpecker is our fifth entry in the 100-Species Challenge.


  1. JoAnn says:

    Great pictures. 🙂


  2. Tina says:

    So beautiful. I love photographing woodpeckers! They are still so long. I experienced those berries when I was in Minnesota this summer. The ranger thought they were cranberries but was unsure..they are so pretty.
    We have 3 sets of measuring dry measuring cups! ( same reason as you need another!) And I have 2 pyrex glass measuring cups. I also purchased another set of measuring spoons. Seems when we are all cooking we just needed more.

    1. Annie Kate says:

      I had no idea woodpeckers would sit still that long! And there were a lot of us watching it, too, but it didn’t seem to mind. I’m so glad my son had his camera with him!

      Annie Kate

  3. kympossible says:

    Wonderful pictures!!

  4. Sarah says:

    It looks so beautiful! Thanks for sharing. Are you going to walk the same way in other seasons?

    1. Annie Kate says:

      I don’t know if we will walk the same way in other seasons.

      These walks are relatively close to where we live (under and hour’s drive), so we probably will. Later on, we’ll have to drive huge distances for our walks, and I can’t imagine doing that every week. I’d like to walk close by on the weeks we can’t make it farther away, and rewalking parts of the trail would be a great thing to do.

      Annie Kate

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