Unplanned Renovations


Our property came with a falling down barn and a storm damaged box elder tree.  And as sentry overlooking it all, a Pileated Woodpecker.

Our plan for a permacultural renovation was unilateral, and once I noticed our sentry I had a conflict; we were not turning back but we were going to turn him out.



So one balmy afternoon last September, I paused and had a meditation with Mr. Pileated.  I doubt it made a difference to him, but I pledged the branch would be remounted somewhere on the farm.  He moved on and we moved forward.  The branch was saved while the rest was razed.


Yesterday I came across that branch lying on the ground.  It had spent an ignominous winter buried under the snow.  With a welcome recognition, I propped the branch against the stair railing and moved on.  Within minutes, a pair of Chickadees moved in.

Becca had been watching this from the kitchen window.  She pointed it out and said, “If you are going to move it, do it now!”

With no time to plan, and no tools at hand, I set the log at the back of the new foundation bed and leaned it against the house; protected from foot traffic, close to our bird bath and feeder, and next to the towering Blue Spruce.


The Chickadees are nesting.  They shuttle now, non-stop, back and forth between their nest and the blue spruce.  Outbound, debris is hauled from the log. They land in the Blue Spruce and release their detritus, then await their partner to make the round trip.


We are able to watch this from our kitchen window.


An amazing show.  An affirmation, we hope, of our intentions.


4 Comments on “Unplanned Renovations”

  1. Jane says:

    Truly amazing. Can’t believe what the chix did. Good for all of you!

  2. nsroche says:

    I’ve heard that chickadees will eat spider eggs from under the eaves, and you’ve got them in a great position to do that for you!

  3. bam says:

    affirmation on chickadee wings!!!!! xoxox gorgeous photos. the shadow against the white clapboard, i love…..

  4. richard neumann says:

    I like the idea of raising young chickadees on a razed box elder (woodpecker) hostel.

    Papa R

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s