After dropping the kids off for school this morning, I was surprised to see Willie perched up on his fence rail, watching the traffic go by. We hadn't seen Willie in well over a month, and I figured he had moved on to a better, buggier locale.
You see, Willie is a red-headed woodpecker that we started watching early this summer. I hadn't seen one up close in years, so when I first saw him perched on a white fence rail across the street from the kids' summer camp, I was ecstatic. The next time I spotted him, I was quick to show off my discovery to the kids. "Oh, that's just Willie," was the lackadaisical reply I got.
Apparently, Willie had been showing up around the place for a couple of weeks, and all the camp kids had seen him so regularly that the excitement had long since worn off.
Apparently, the same could not be said for Willie, who this morning seemed to inspect me rather curiously before he left the fence and headed back to the trees in search of breakfast.
I remember that, upon learning the redhead's name, I asked the seemingly logical question, "Why didn't y'all name him 'Woody'?" Cat's immediate response was one of those dumbfounded, "Are you an idiot?" looks that only daughters can properly pull off, followed by a multi-syllabic, "Daa-a-a-aaad! Woody is a silly old cartoon. Willie is real!"
I'm not sure where Willie spent the second half of his summer, but it's good to see that he's still alive and well. And real.