Chris McKitterick (mckitterick) wrote,
Chris McKitterick
mckitterick

Birders and plant-ers: What are these things?

I don't know if I've mentioned before that my house is regularly assaulted by woodpeckers. My chimney has a steel UFO-thingy on top of it to keep birds from nesting in the chimney proper. One particular bird finds this to be a wonderful tool for enhancing his mating call. Here he is, roosting on top of the chimney:

What you can't tell from this peaceful photo is that, just a minute before I took this shot, I was working inside when RAT-A-TATATATAT! Like a machine-gun's bullets pummeling a lightly armored vehicle, his beak assaulted my chimney. This was not the first time. No, pretty-boy here:

regularly pounds out a wake-up call in the morning, a "calling all female woodpeckers!" message in the afternoons, and pretty much every time in between. I decided that today I'd catch him in the act, because today was special: I had two competing woodpeckers pounding away on my roof's sheet-metal. Here's the second one on the vent out back:

Duelling machine-gun fire. Note the war-wounds my house has sustained: Those dents aren't from hail.

Moving on. Does anyone know what this alien growth is?

It's growing beside my house from that leafy mass on the bottom. I have three such leafy masses around the house; the leaves are long and sharp and very fibrous, but never before have they sprouted giant green pillars. It's about six feet tall! What comes out of the top? The invasion force? Or will it one day just open its eyes, stretch its legs, and walk away?

Houses: endless entertainment.

Chris
Tags: house, urban wildlife
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  • I've started Patreon!

    ...where I post the kind of original content l post on my blogs (primarily Tumblr at the moment, keep meaning to visit here more!), plus a bunch…

  • AnLab Award finalist!

    WOOHOO! I'm a finalist for the AnLab Award for my novelette, " Ashes of Exploding Suns, Monuments to Dust"! Analog Science Fiction &…

  • Publishing News!

    Analog just published my essay, “ Literal Metaphors, Science Fiction, and How to Save the Human Species” on their Astounding…