Woodpecker Hole Sketch at McClaughry Spring Woods

Unfinished Woodpecker Hole -watercolor

20°F  cloudy
McClaughry Springs Woods

Stopping by McClaughry Woods, you can’t even say that I went for a hike, but rather just an emergency stop for 30 minutes in nature. When I’m only allowed a little bit of time, I try to be silent and pay extra special attention to what is going on around me. I’m soaking it in at warp speed.

There is no wind. The woods are dead silent, covered in a blanket of white snow. I walk north from the parking lot to Mill Creek and can pick up a faint trickle sound coming from under the ice. Every ounce of stress held on from the beginning of the day, suddenly finds itself trapped under that ice, trickling down the stream. Good ridden.

I find a young dead tree with three starter holes made by a woodpecker, of which species, I do not know (maybe pileated, red headed, or red-bellied). Are you starting a home for yourself, or will another cavity nester take residence?


Covered in crusty mushrooms, this dead tree would make an excellent woodpecker home. I chose to sketch at home from this photo.


Unfinished hole #2.


Mills Creek. Winter’s grasp not only slows us down, but also has the frigid power to slow the creek down to a mere quiet trickle.

I hope you enjoyed this quick stop at McClaughry Spring Woods. Remember when hiking, to always bring drinking water, even in the winter time. Check out this line of Camelbak Water Bottles, very convenient for staying hydrated.


  1. I love your painting and I especially like the two photographs showing the progression of that hole in the tree. As much time as I have spent in the woods I don’t think I would have ever recognized your second photo as the beginning work of some critter pecking out a home.

    After thinking about it for a while, you know what else it could be working on that hole? It could have been one of those varmints I like to refer to as tree rats. They also gnaw out similar holes if they find a tree to their liking, especially if it is close to a food source. Maybe the shavings on the ground under the hole might give a clue?

  2. Alan: Tree rats make my blood boil! Well, not the ones in the woods minding their own bees-wax, just the varmints terrorizing my birds and ripping out my flowers to bury their stupid peanuts! Did you know the other day was, Squirrel Appreciation Day? WHAT THE HECK?!? What loony invented that?

    Lana: Thanks! For even putting up with the cold! 😉

    1. As a matter of fact I did Christine….

      I got out my BB-gun and went out into the backyard that day just to see how many I could appreciate! 😀

      Just teasing… (or is he)…

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