Jul 27, 2014


A persistent background noise has been driving me crazy. 

Tap-tap-tap. Tap-tap-tap.

Is there someone at the door? Nope. Is it the roofers working on the neighbor’s house? Nope. Is it the noisy new water heater? Nope. Is it something about to melt down or blow up? Nope. (At least I hope not.)

There it is again. Tap-tap-tap. It’s like water torture without the water. Again: Tap-tap-tap. Over the course of several weeks, I finally tracked the sound to its source: a Downy Woodpecker.

The good news? It's not the water heater. The "shoulda-known-better" news? The first time I saw the culprit, I thought it was cute. The bad news? The demented creature has fallen in love with my tasty cedar privacy fence and appears to be on a driving personal mission to take it apart. One annoying and devastating peck at a time.

Because I am who I am, I went off to learn more.

Downy Woodpeckers are about the size of large sparrows and can be recognized by their distinctive black-and-white checkered coloration. The beak is comparatively short, sturdy and broad, and the males can be identified by the small dash of red located at the back of the head.

They can be found throughout much of the US and Canada. They range from coast to coast, wander as far north as Alaska, the Yukon and Northwest Territories, and enjoy spending time in sunny southern California and the Gulf states. Smart birds. (To see photos and learn a few basics, go here.)

Because I am who I am, I did the only rational thing a knitter could do. I started this:

The verdict?

It might indicate I’m dealing with this cute but destructive creature in a calm and rational way by tap-tap-tapping into my creative side. 

Or it might be a sign I've well and truly lost it.

We shall see.

For more fiber and craft talk, visit Frontier Dreams and Tami's Amis.

To read the rest of this tale and see the FO, go here.


  1. This is genius! I love our downy, so I'm sorry your's is annoying, but I never thought to knit a shawl (is it a shawl?) based on him. Love it.

  2. You are hilarious.
    I love that this is your coping mechanism.

  3. Ha! We have one in our area as well but I've never heard him. I don't think I'd be able to handle him as calmly as you are! Good luck!

  4. Awh I'm sorry it's driving you made but this post made me laugh!


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