Caching Food for Winter/Leaving California/New Website

Ten days ago, my seasonal position with the National Park Service at Point Reyes National Seashore ended. I packed and headed home to Iowa on December 20th. Fortunately, Interstate 80 was clear of snow and ice the whole way, making the journey much more relaxing and enjoyable; well as relaxing as a 28-hour drive can be.

Before leaving, I spent multiple hours over one months’ time documenting a very interesting subject.

There are multiple dead standing tree trunks around the Point Reyes Visitor Center and administration buildings. And they are littered with holes.

Dead snag tree riddled with holes as it appeared October 10, 2019. Sony a9 + 100-400mm lens & 1.4x teleconverter @560 mm, ISO 800, f/8, 1/800. ©Stanley Buman. All Rights Reserved.

If you look closely at the holes, you can see acorns tucked inside. These trees serve as a winter food cache; a granary for the woodpeckers.

Snag tree with acorns stashed inside the holes as it appeared November 9, 2019. Sony a9 + 100-400mm lens & 1.4x teleconverter @560 mm, ISO 400, f/8, 1/40. ©Stanley Buman. All Rights Reserved.

Acorn Woodpeckers stay busy harvesting acorns and caching them in holes made earlier in the season or in previous years.

Acorn Woodpecker taking flight after harvesting an acorn from a Coast Live Oak tree. Sony a9 + 100-400mm lens & 1.4x teleconverter @560 mm, ISO 640, f/8, 1/160. ©Stanley Buman. All Rights Reserved.
Acorn Woodpecker landing on a Douglas Fir tree to deposit an acorn in a hole for storage. Sony a9 + 100-400mm lens & 1.4x teleconverter @560 mm, ISO 640, f/8, 1/160. ©Stanley Buman. All Rights Reserved.

Filling and guarding the acorn granary is a family affair. I witnessed a family of five birds carrying acorns to their granary about every 3 – 4 minutes/bird. The Acorn Woodpeckers have to protect their granaries from cache-robbers such as jays and squirrels.

On another note, my website has been reconstructed and it is now on-line. You can visit it at www.fencelinephotos.com. As a result, my blog posts will soon be sent out in a different manner. Within the next week or so, I will send an email to you with instructions on how to sign up to continue receiving my blog posts.

2019 turned out to be quite an adventure for me. Stay tuned as a begin my next adventure in about 3 weeks.

I hope all of you have many of your own wonderful adventures in 2020. I wish you a Happy New Year.

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