Thursday, June 11, 2015

One holey tree

A dead pine tree across the lake from our house is full of life.  Most of its branches fell off a long time ago and some of its bark has begun to rot away, but none of that seems to matter to the birds that live and roost there.

Last year a pileated woodpecker drilled gigantic holes in which to raise its family.

A screech owl made the hole even larger and moved in after the pileated woodpeckers left.

And an osprey often perches on the dead tree's broken off trunk because it's one of the highest spots around.


Just the other day I noticed a red-bellied woodpecker paying considerable attention to one of the tree's many cavities.

It could be making a nest or baby birds may already be living inside the pre-drilled cavity.  Either way, this is one dead tree that hasn't stopped giving.


A cloak of pine needles no longer adorns the tree's boughs and pine cones have long since fallen to the ground.  Some people would consider the dead tree ugly, an eyesore that should be cut down. But that's not how I see it.  To me, dead trees that support and shelter life are as much a part of a healthy woodland as young saplings and mature specimens. They are doing their part in the circle of life even after their own life has come to an end.



  1. What fantastic photos and video! It is too bad that people feel the need to remove dead trees. Dead pine trees are especially artistic looking.

    1. It makes sense to cut down dead trees if they have the potential to drop branches on houses or cars but if they're away from structures or in a woods, leaving them in place is better. I think people would be surprised if they know just how much life a dead tree supports.