Saw a woodpecker today. I was walking back from dropping Alan off at the school bus. Chilly morning, just after dawn, right around freezing. Both Alan and I had been a little sluggish... sometimes our morning walks are lively, with lots of questions and conversation. Sometimes it's companionable silence. Sometimes it's just silence, because we're both not quite started yet. This had been one of the just-silence ones. Not bad, just nothing to say. Neither of us are really morning people. We hung around the bus stop for a minute or two, the bus came, I loaded him on. Ritual: after he sits down, I go to his window, tap with my wedding ring. He looks up and smiles. I blow a kiss. Bus takes off and I walk home. Walking home: Heard a faint sound, tok-tok-tok. Looked up at one of the two poplars in front of the neighbors house. Thought at first it was a magpie (lots of magpies around here). But... too small. And it was tapping. Watched it for several minutes until it flew away. (Actually, a magpie showed up and scared it off.) Undulating flight. Reddish on the bottom. I'm pretty sure it was a Great Spotted Woodpecker. Not a particularly rare bird. In fact, common as dirt all over Europe and much of Asia too. Still, I'd never seen one before, and it was a completely unexpected touch of wilderness in our very urban neighborhood. And a bright note in an otherwise glum week. And that's all.