And though Idaho is part of the shelter-in-place mandate during the COVID-19 pandemic, our Governor, Brad Little, encouraged its residents to go outside and get exercise—takes walks, ride our bicycles—just not in groups.

We live a stone’s throws from the Boise River Greenbelt. On one of my daily walks, I heard the distinctive sound of a woodpecker. And though I didn’t see it, this looks like where it might have been:

When I was a kid, Saturday mornings were cartoon-laden with the likes of Beanie and Cecil, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Woody Woodpecker.

Rat-a-tat-tat! Rat-a-tat-tat! Spring is the harbinger of new things. Zoom has become my new way of facilitating and receiving what had previously been in-person sessions. 

What opportunity is knocking at your door?

© lauriebuchanan.com

43 thoughts on “Rat-a-tat-tat

  1. Hi, Laurie. I know what you mean. I was completing an intensive course to obtain a certificate to be able to teach foreign languages, and due to the lockdown we’ve had to finish it online, and although not something I wanted to do, it has also given us experience teaching online, that will be very useful. So, who knows? Keep well!

  2. I used Zoom to meet with my critique group in Canada. It worked very well. We are still all connecting as humans are a social species. Take care and stay safe. xo

  3. So, your Woody Woodpecker was back! A blogger friend was foraging for morels yesterday here in Virginia and saw a bigger and even more unusual harbinger of spring: a wild boar. Yikes. I love morels but don’t want to meet up with a boar hunting the specialty.

  4. I have been doing yoga over Zoom. It’s more difficult for me to work it into my schedule when I have to get in a car and drive to a place – none near where I live. But a friend of mine is doing morning flow Yoga through Zoom at 7:30 a.m. I walk downstairs, roll out the mat and turn on my laptop. Voila! Yoga in my house. It’s been a fantastic opportunity.

  5. Cooking! I love to cook/bake and all these recipes I have had bookmarked are now coming to fruition. When this is all over, my husband and I might roll out the door!

  6. Zoom has been my friend too. I’ve been doing Pilates Tuesdays and Saturdays with friends’ seen as blurry squares online.

    My writers’ group met yesterday, Monday, and although we usually meet once a month, we’ve gone now to every two weeks. At the last session, we read poetry to each other, and someone suggested a dynamite title for an upcoming blog post. Win-win!

    Humans crave contact – so glad we have the digital version for now.

  7. We have several woodpecker families who live in the trees in our yard and neighborhood. And, in fact, I have become friends with them, since we have a suet birdfeeder on our back deck 12 months a year. We get all sizes and shapes of woodpeckers, from the smaller variety to the huge Flicker. They all share nicely. Last summer we had baby woodpeckers, and watched them wait on top of the birdfeeder while the mom (or dad?) pecked some suet in her mouth, then delivered it directly into the baby pecker’s mouth. And they didn’t mind us watching!
    So, the opportunity now with the stay-at-home mandate is to watch more nature – the birds, the bees, the flowers and the trees all opening themselves up for my (our) enjoyment. xo

    • Pam — Ohhhhhhh, you’ve got “The Nature Channel” right through your window! How fun to watch the parent woodpeckers feeding their babies, and not even minding your watchful eyes 🙂

  8. I love the sound of woodpeckers. Here on our farm in Vermont we have a woodpecker who loves to peck on the barn’s metal roof. I don’t believe he’s been successful in attracting his soul mate, but every year he tries again. And like the woodpecker, I continue to reach out in my own way to connect. As Marian said, we humans crave contact. We are social beings, after all. While I’ve been using Zoom quite a bit, and doxy.me for clients (HIPA compatible), I’m also on the phone much more than usual. Just this morning I reconnected with the woman who’d been a dear friend in Ohio from 1991 when I met her to 1994 when I moved to Philly. I’ve always thought of her on this date as it’s her birthday, but never called before. Today I did and it was lovely. Good friends are like that; we can pick right up and carry on the same conversation.

    • Janet — I love your story about good friends being able to pick up right where they left off.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the woodpecker in your neck of the woods who pecks on a metal roof is wearing earbuds to muffle the sound. He or she might well be a percussionist in the making 🥁

      • we’ve actually become quite fond of it over the years. Last year, he came late; we were worried. Then relieved when the rat a tat tat returned. Cheers

  9. My son has been meeting with his class via Zoom. They’ll start teaching after spring break, with a starting date of the 15th of April. I’ve been hearing a woodpecker recently too – rapid drumming going on, so he’s working hard at a hold somewhere. I think the chipmunks are coming out – wonderful signs of spring!

    • Carol — Cheers to your son! I think if we’d had this technology when I was in school, I would have loved “going to class” online (but then again, I’m an ambivert—an introvert who functions as an extrovert). 🙂

  10. Zoom = 1 family session; 1 Liangong session, another next week; and one book group session on the 16th. Most of my second book group is too afraid to try?
    We have been social distancing since September, so the current routine is feeling very normal to us. After working in a very public arena for years and years, retirement and distancing feels very good to this introvert. I actually don’t even do social media much any more. At our other house we had lots of livestock passing through and one piliated woodpecker was daily in our apple trees. In this neighborhood, the flickers are busy being noisy rappers on folks roof vents and chimney covers. One brown billed coo coo is hour after hour trying to attract a mate. 6 am is extremely noisy at our house. I like the sunshine and the clouds. I work to do my exercise walk outside and not run into anyone – I do it mask free. I can find a contentment in being alone and I do consider myself to be my best friend; I enjoy my own company very much!

    • Patricia — I love that you “Find a contentment in being alone and I consider yourself to be your own best friend.” As an ambivert (an introvert who functions as an extrovert), I, too, enjoy my own company. In fact, I relish my alone time. 🙂

  11. EVERYTHING is an opportunity – there is no other way to looks at things anymore. What a beautiful gift – oh yeah, I just need to REMEMBER it. Breathe, relax, reflect, then REMEMBER that again.

  12. Third time to leave a comment lol – EVERYTHING is an opportunity, every challenge, every perception that others may have that is very different from mine, every word spoken, every breath taken, every thought is an opportunity to DO BETTER.

  13. Laurie, well, I get unlimited time to devote to my evolving garden, unprecedented in my case. There is no schedule but my own, no agenda but my own, I am expected nowhere, I expect very few, I am instructed to isolate myself from all as I have health issues. I can do that. I don’t want to, I want to go roaming up and down the garden center aisles like tiger scenting fresh prey…” Sultanas! I’m picking up a double pink sultana to the left. More to the left.!” Boom! You’ve snagged it and it’s in your cart where you can inspect it closely. That’s how to go hunting for the best annuals and perennials. Not online. But I can gorge again on the seed catalogs and fall back on the time honored Spring ritual of sending off the annual seed order for the garden. Beans, peas. tomatoes, cucumber…my imagination runs wild. As I am seeing visions of taking a ribbon for Best Pickles at the County Fair, I can visualise another, a wheelbarrow full of cucumbers standing at my back door, demanding attention. Hello, Food Bank! If I take out my daily fidgets with gardening, then somebody down the road will surely get the excess. I just want to grow it. Of course, I spend lots of time quietly piddling about and the birds are not startled by or frightened of me so I enjoy the new blue bird family, the cardinals, woodpeckers and all. Last night a rather haunting serenade by several owls in communication with each other, reminded me of an old country saying describing how far back in the woods someone is “They have possums for yard dogs and hoot owls for chickens.” Me? I’m just looking to have as much fun as I can while doing what I can. This is not the time of my life to be worried about how I am doing so much as the time to do what I comfortably can to spend my time usefully. In other words, playing outside, mucking about with the water hose and having a large time for myself!

    • Sandi — Of course I can picture you in my mind’s eye rolocking and frolicking through the garden, down to the creek, and into the wood. You come back with muddy knees and filthy hands because you spotted something on the ground and had to get up close and personal with it. Then there are the days that you drive your red tractor pulling a wagon behind. Yep, you’re having the time of your life! 🙂

      • Laurie, she’s just a lawn tractor will delusions of grandeur. She wants to be a Clydesdale. Thank you.

  14. I’m not so happy about the Woodpecker in my area. He often chooses early morning for his greeting. … not ideal. Biggest problem though is, the resulting destructive to the roof area (just recently re-roofed 2 yrs ago by my landlords). Fortunately, he shoos off easily. There are plenty of the trees in the area he can move to.

    I certainly believe the existing movement to the virtual world (webex, zoom, team meet, etc. etc.) will be only increasing in the future. I have already been delivering coaching via webex as a sub-contractor. Initially, I was dubious that it would be close to the experience as in person. However, I have been positively surprised at the very positive outcomes that flow from these engagements.
    I am looking to move more of my work to virtual in the near future.

    I have been enjoying Zoom for several personal touch base meetings now (friends, colleagues, work meets) … a true blessing. Email and text connections remain valuable.

    Social isolating now for almost 4 weeks. Doing okay because I’m used to living alone. But being required to stay put is a different thing. I am looking forward to my first in-person connection and possibly a hug.

    • Audrey — I’m used to being on the receiving end of a Zoom conference or meeting, but behind the facilitator is a horse of a whole different color. My hat is off to YOU! I know that it takes practice, and lots of it. The more I do it, the better I’ll get.

      And you’re right, “being required to stay put is a whole different thing.” (I’ve never been fond of taking orders, but this one I’m putting a lot of effort behind) 🙂

      • I’ve been an independent soul since childhood (I know we are sister spirits in this). I too have been re-framing this as protecting both my health and the health of others. I have family in health care, EMS/Firefighting and grocery store staff … they are the hero’s. So, staying home except a trip every 2 weeks for groceries is a small role (albeit important) to play. We all do our part, right?

  15. I’m calling myself the Zoom Queen. Something I didn’t even know existed I’ve transitioned my whole life to. Zoom yoga, business meetings, writing workshops, book launch events, and even attended Pajamas & Pearls Cocktail Hour with close friends to see each other and celebrate that two have begun to recover from the virus. I’ve been walking with my neighbors daily nearby. All the San Diego beaches, parks and trails have been closed because they had become so crowded that social distancing wasn’t working.

  16. Before lock down I used to work on a beautiful country estate ( but please think small it’s West Wales) and I would constantly hear the wood pecker …I loved it and miss it .However there are lots of tiny things at home that have given me huge pleasure. There are loads of opportunities out there but it ‘normal land’ you just don’t see them 🧐🤔

  17. Hi Laurie, I don’t know what new opportunity is knocking, but I’ve certainly rededicated myself to some older goals. Gardening with new plants and flowers always beckons me at this time of year. I try at least one interesting and new variety of seed each year. This year’s choice is Moringa, a plant that is a powerhouse of antioxidants and all kinds of vitamins. Several of the gigantic seeds have sprouted and are growing at an astonishing rate. Success! I can’t wait to try it. I also have been drinking this plant in an antioxidant tea form through the last few months. It’s available in the tea aisle of some grocery stores.

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