A downy woodpecker was my alarm clock this morning. I fell back to my old ways and believed the weatherman that heavy rain and storms would last through the night and wee hours of the morning. I figured it might be too wet to walk and set the alarm clock for later. Over the weekend I got up early both days as I tried to factor two walks, housework, yard work, cooking, laundry and job-related work into 48 hours – whew, it plum tuckered me out! I slept through any storms we had as I didn’t hear them, but what I did hear was the rat-a-tat-tat of a downy woodpecker drilling through the large oak trees in the yard behind. It was alot of noise for such a small bird. You see him pictured above as he and a sparrow feast on a suet cake supplied by my neighbor Marge on her back deck. When “Woody” is not feasting on suet cake, he is ravaging the nearby trees looking for a little meat, i.e. grubs and ants and spiders. I don’t know what he found for his Monday morning breakfast, but I hope he was successful. Through sleepy eyes, I could see the sun was already up on the wall down the hall. Sigh. Well, I was not going to let a walking opportunity pass me by, even a short walk. Since it was already late, I hurriedly ate breakfast, slurped down a half-cup of coffee, got dressed and was on my way. I managed to get in a few miles anyway. As I turned the corner to my street, I saw the yard waste truck huffing and puffing in front of my house for which seemed like forever while a total of nine yard waste bags full of my dead Knock Out Roses were shoveled into the back of the truck and gobbled up in record time. I felt badly as I hacked down the thorny branches yesterday. It took me decades to grow those roses that large and full, and nearly four hours to cut them down to about six inches high to try to salvage them. It was a big effort and I have many thorn scratches despite having my arms encased in a heavy sweatshirt plus wearing thick leather gloves to do the job. One thorn is embedded in the heel of my hand which I will have to deal with later today. I cut down the smaller shrub roses and clematis, all which were looking rather dicey, then I stripped the dead leaves off my holly bush and trimmed it up a little. I am similarly hoping for the best for that long-standing bush. Perhaps all this rain will help the cause and resuscitate these bushes but at least it doesn’t look like the garden belongs to the Addams family anymore.