Ladderback’s Ladder

The ladderback woodpecker is certainly an interesting fellow. It is a very common woodpecker, to be sure, yet every time you see one you smile. Perhaps it is the bright red crest it sports, which, for all the world, appears more often than not that it was neglected while combing. Perhaps it is its flying, which at times appears to be more of an uncontrolled fall than anything else. Whatever it is, the ladderback is fun to watch.

I was intrigued as it came to rest on this group of branches and it occurred to me that the ladderback landed on a ladder, although the “ladder” in question was horizontal and not vertical. Still, it is the image that I saw as I made this photograph in southern Arizona on an absolutely spectacular spring day.

With a quick “rat-a-tat tat tat” the woodpecker realized that this branch held nothing interesting for it, and it flew off into trees, then the desert beyond. It streaked by again not long after that, and re-examined its ladder. Still finding nothing interesting, it flew away, for the last time, as it turns out.

Never to fear, though! Ladderbacks are common and it was only a matter of time before another came by, found the ladder, and decided to investigate.

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