Saturday, March 10, 2007

Gulliver, NOT Woody, more...

Remember Gulliver's Travels? More specifically, remember the Monopods? The Monopods were a race of people with one leg and one very large foot.

They hopped about on the one foot. The foot was so large that it was very buoyant and the Monopods were able to row about on a lake floating on just their foot... er, feet

Anyway, Carol just bought a monopod for her camera and it brought to mind those characters in Guliver's Travels.

What's a monopod, you ask? Well, it's a tripod with two legs missing. It's designed to hold the camera steady (especially when the photographer is using a long telephoto lens), but allows the photographer to rotate the camera and pivot it up and down.

Using her new monopod Carol captured the shots below of a woodpecker in a tree in our front yard.


I figured for sure this was a red-headed woodpecker, right? For obvious reasons. But no, that was wrong. Here's another view. . .

No, that one doesn't help much, does it? Well, how about this last shot. . .

It turns out that our handbook identifies this bird as a red-BELLIED woodpecker. Who knew?

But as I mentioned in the title, he/she doesn't look much like Woody.

Oh, and the monopod worked great!)

9 comments:

kenju said...

I don't see a red belly, John.

Duke_of_Earle said...

Confidential to Kenju: Neither did I. But there's a tinge of orange on the bird's underside, and that, combined with the pattern on the wings and the red hood seems to make the difference.

Hey, I'm just reporting what our Bird Identification Handbook says.

Michelle said...

Great photographs - it really looks like Carol has found a new passion (but still only 2nd to you of course)

Badabing said...

I was sitting in my kitchen reading your post, and I looked out the back window. Guess what...that woodpecker's cousin is clinging to one of my trees. No joke. We have some bird feeders out back and several red bellied woodpeckers frequent it. I ran down and got my camera to take a pic of it, but the damned thing is only clinging to trees that put it between the sun and the camera. I've been waiting for a friggin' half hour now.

I thought that bird was a ladderback woodpecker, but I checked the guidebook too, and it is a red belly. There's a little splash of red on the chest that you can't usually see unless you have a certain angle. Ladderbacks look very similar...same wing markings but the entire head isn't red.

schnoodlepooh said...

Carol takes great photos. Good for her. And I've been curious about those monopods. I was thinking about getting one. I would think they're easier to haul around that an tripod.

Very cool

Christina said...

Were Monopods in Gulliver's Travels? I thought I remembered Monopods from one of the books in the Narnia series...

Duke_of_Earle said...

Christina,

You're right, of course. but so far nobody else has called me on that fact. C.S. Lewis revived the legend of the Monopods in "Voyage of the Dawn Treader," one of the Narnia series. The first recorded mention of the legend was by Pliney in ancient Greece, Don't know why I thought of Gulliver and Jonathan Swift.

My bad.

Dad

Candace said...

I heard a woodpecker the other day, but couldn't find the dang thing!
I've heard that it's not a good sign if one is pecking away on a tree because that means the tree is weak or diseased. Is that true?

Steve G said...

Nice pictures for being taken with a single pod.