Home Work

A male Gila woodpecker pecks above the entrance to his nest in an old saguaro on the Jane Rau Trail in McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale, Arizona

A Gila woodpecker pecks above the entrance to his current nest with an older nest around the corner. I couldn’t tell if he was grabbing an insect or if he was doing some home improvement. I haven’t posted much lately as I’ve been busy doing home work of my own, we’ve started looking for a house in earnest and I’ve been doing a lot of research on our various options. We’ve narrowed the search down to our two favorites and I think we’ll make an offer on one of them tomorrow. One of the two is a bit further from work than I’d like but it is only about 10 to 15 minutes away from several of my favorite hiking locations, including Brown’s Ranch where I took this picture back in April.

New Homes

A male Gila woodpecker peeks out of his nest in a saguaro with an older nest visible nearby on the Jane Rau Trail in McDowell Sonoran Preserve

It was one year ago today they brought my team in and laid us all off, setting in motion our eventual move from our longtime home in Portland to our new home in Arizona. We’re renting for now but will start looking to buy within a month or two. This Gila woodpecker made his new home near the old, moving slightly around the saguaro. Other small birds sometimes use the old nests after the woodpeckers abandon them. Getting to see such new sights has been part of the fun of moving to such a different location.

Follow Me Home

A broken saguaro  still grows with one outstretched arm and two smaller arms below along the Janue Rau Trail in McDowell Sonoran Preserve

After all the changes in our lives this past year I feel a special sympathy for when we adopted terrified little Boo five years ago. He worked so hard to conquer his fears and embrace his new home, you could see the struggle in his face and I suppose for months I wore that expression too. I took this picture of a broken saguaro within a month of arriving in the desert when so little in our lives seemed familiar yet we were excited about our new home. It seems to me a guide, waving with one arm held high to attract the attention of the lost, another arm pointing the way home. Shattered, surviving, standing, strong.