Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Losing My Religion to the Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker

Nature teaches more than she preaches. There are no sermons in stones. It is easier to get a spark out of a stone than a moral. 
~John Burroughs 

Early Sunday morning I decided to take advantage of the spring weather in Memphis, and I drove to nearby Audubon Park, where I had previously identified what I called a “woodpecker tree.”
Perhaps I should reverse the title of this post and call it “The Yellow- Bellied Sapsucker to Losing My Religion.”  In lieu of much writing, I am going to let the slideshow I prepared mostly speak for itself.   I love this acoustic version of the R.E.M. song, and I hope you will also.   The state of Audubon Park in general is described, (specifically on a Sunday morning) and then there are some tips on taking photos of the yellow-bellied sapsucker.   Much of this applies to any bird photo, of course.
Two of my many goals in starting this blog were 1) to force myself to pay more attention to my surroundings and 2) to actually learn a few things.  I doubt if I would have noticed the “woodpecker tree” in Audubon Park if it hadn’t been for this blog. And I know I would not have read the graffiti!
I am also paying much more attention to details, and I learned that this was not a woodpecker that I photographed, but a sapsucker, which literally lives by sucking the lifeblood out of trees! Nature is cruel!   I identified this bird the lazy person’s way-- by posting it to my Flickr account and moving it to the bird identification group.You are not allowed to move a bird photo to that group unless you can’t identify it.  I got my answer within seven minutes.  Hey, it is a common bird, and I am not a birder!   

Retraction:  According to Wikipedia--"The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is part of the New World sapsucker genus Sphyrapicus, which is within the woodpecker family Picidae."
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 
Profile Photograph of a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker from the Back

Can you find a woodpecker tree in your neighborhood? Or do you notice something else interesting to photograph?

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