Pileated Woodpeckers?

Pileated Woodpecker - lifted from Google Images

Pileated Woodpecker – lifted from Google Images

Another cobalt blue and crystalline cold day, snow glimmering a million crystals. I head for the lake through a small copse of pines and spruces. A soft chirping, close to the base of a nearby tree alerts me. I turned towards the direction of the sound, hoping to glimpse a little woodland bird. I’ve missed the little chickadees fluttering at my black sunflower feeder in Pointe Claire. So far, all I’ve seen are giant black ravens. Suddenly, a puff of snow appears, and a brilliant red crest emerges from the cloud. A pileated woodpecker? Here? I have seen them around our old home, in the ancient maple trees, digging and hammering for insects, but this far north?

I later Google the habitats and distribution of these birds and find that this area is at the northern boundary. And, of course, I left my camera at home.

Andy invited one of his colleagues for dinner. It was nice setting a table for three. Lee is from the Abitibi area, east of here. Aside from teaching carpentry and regular school, he has worked as a fishing guide.

“How can we get some fresh game,” I asked Lee.

“You are not allowed,” he said. “Even if someone gives you some, you must say ‘No!’”.

He warned us to be wary of accepting meat from the community, as it is illegal to sell.

Maybe I can try beef in my moose recipes …

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