This is a picture of our toilet on Boblo Island.
You will note, that although it is a perfectly serviceable toilet, it is situated outdoors on a deck, where its normal use is somewhat impractical.
Issues with the toilet on Boblo have a long and colorful history. Last summer, Chris spent two days beating it into submission, and we were finally able to make partial use of it. This time, too, the toilet's capricious nature made it necessary for Chris to remove it from its usual location while he attended to needed repairs.
I mention all this only to explain how it was, that I found myself in the thicket, with a shovel and a roll of slightly damp toilet paper, communing with nature.
While I was thus engaged, I heard knocking. It wasn't the insistent tdtdtdtdtdtdtd! of the woodpeckers I've grown accustomed to in Chicago, but rather the slow, deliberate knock!.... knock!.... knock!... of a much larger bird. I quickly composed myself and pointed my face up into the tree canopy. And there, on a branch not ten feet above my head was the most beautiful pileated woodpecker I ever saw.
I've glimpsed others before, and they were doubtless just as attractive. It's just that none ever sat still long enough for me to appreciate its charms. This one continued its laborious knocking, slowly circling the tree trunk as it went about its business, as if I hadn't been there.
This was, understandably, one of those moments when I didn't have my camera. I rose to my feet and gingerly started to move in the direction of the cabin. The bird continued to ignore my presence. Encouraged by this, I ran to collect both the camera, and members of my family. Alas, while the woodpecker was tolerant of a solitary person in the vicinity, a larger group alarmed him, and he took wing, and disappeared from view. Chris and the kids gave up on him, but I was determined to get a photo. I knew where he had gone, and reasoned that if I stay still enough, as I, after all, had been doing when I first spotted him, he was sure to reappear.
He did. But, sadly, I never got close enough to him to get a decent picture. He was now aware of my presence, and every time I raised my camera, he flew off to a more distant branch. I followed him as stealthily as I could through the damp woods, and I was able to observe him quite well in flight, but this was the best I could do. This one's for Kim, such as it is.