Early Saturday morning at Hoe and Shovel the cloudy grey sky was threatening rain. Now in Florida it is common to receive threats of this sort without any action. The overcast sky actually provides a reprieve from the sunshine and on occasion makes gardening very pleasant .
And so it was this Saturday. My most important aim of the day was to remove some grass which was trampled and worn and replace it by laying some pieces of sod I had taken up from another part of the garden the day before. It's hard work and might I say a bit of a back-breaker so I was starting early with my very best energy.
About 3 hours later the threat turned into a wonderful downfall of the real thing. I did finish my chore of laying the grass... working in the refreshing light rain for a little bit but gladly the rain came harder accompanied by thunder and I didn't want to risk lightning. No disappointment in the change of plans for my day since we need every drop of rain so very badly.
The Downy Woodpecker is not shy in my experience and does not seem to mind my presence. Only I have a difficult time capturing a photo due to the height in which they find their acceptable pecking branches. I had been tracking this one ( I assume it is the same one) for a few days and finally had some (semi) success on Saturday.
In these photos it is high in the branches of an East Palatka Holly (Ilex x attenuata). This one (pictured above) is approximately 40' tall and is situated just beyond our house and open patio leading out to the backyard. The East Palatka Holly is a cross between American and Dahoon Hollies, discovered in 1927 near East Palatka , Florida . The leaves may have a few spines, but this handsome tree sets fruit easily. Only the female trees produce berries. This one is full of red berries throughout the winter making plenty of food for the birds.
Because the Downy is fun to watch in action I couldn't resist filming and sharing this 10 second video. You can also listen to the cardinal in the background singing her melodious tunes at the same time. I think all the birds could sense the rain was coming.