100 Days of National Parks: Day 38 – Acorn Woodpecker, Sequoia National Park

Acorn Woodpecker

Autumn Woodpecker
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Sometimes the best shots come at the most unexpected times.  I was on my way out of Sequoia National Park on my last day there in 2012, having packed up my camp at the Potishwa Campground near the Foothills Visitor Center when I saw a flash to my left and looked out my window to see this lovely acorn woodpecker land on a nearby oak tree.  I stopped the car and threw on a long lens, and managed to snap this shot in the few seconds before he took off for another oak further in the campground.

Every time I look at this shot I’m reminded of that brief moment, and how lucky I was to be quick enough to capture it so cleanly.  It is one of those small, but lasting memories, that invariably pull me back to a place and time.  Looking at the photo now I can feel the heat of the late summer morning, smell the dry grass and hear the drumming of the woodpecker.  One of the joys of exploring and taking photos for me is the way they tug at the memory, and call to mind all the sensorial experiences that went into capturing that one moment.  Some photos really have that pull of memory for me, and this is absolutely one of those.


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