Gila Woodpecker__8x6 oil on canvas panel___$190...no thorns!
If you stand still in the desert, you can see lots of things !
I was not standing still on purpose, but had paused in a place near some saguaros, just to rest and feel the hot sun (I actually LIKE hot sun!). I had my camera already up to my face, and was just standing there when I noticed this Gila Woodpecker hopping around on the nearest Saguaro cactus....Got some great photos before he flitted away, and painted from one today...Here it is, with some info about the bird, below. If you are at ALL interested in birds, check out the BEST bird site I know...it's at Cornell University!!
Melanerpes uropygialis ORDER: PICIFORMES FAMILY: PICIDAE
A conspicuous resident in the deserts of the Southwest and Mexico, the Gila Woodpecker is a characteristic bird of the saguaro cactus forests
• When a pair of Gila Woodpeckers excavates a nest hole in a saguaro cactus, it typically does not use it for several months. Drying time is required for the inner pulp of the cactus to form a solid casing around the cavity.
• The male Gila Woodpecker forages mainly on the trunk and main branches of saguaro cacti, while the female concentrates on the periphery and diseased areas.
Found in deserts that have large cacti or trees suitable for nesting (especially saguaro cactus), dry subtropical forests, riparian woodlands, and residential areas.