No, it wasn't Saint Nick that came down my chimney. This visitor was quite a bit smaller and technically it wasn't a chimney that he came down but a stove pipe. None the less, I couldn't have been more surprised if it had been Santa Claus.
I don't know when my visitor arrived but it wasn't until I was upstairs stamping the snowmen on these paper lunch sacks that I heard this tap tap tapping. Not like a hammer and not the rattle the refrigerator makes. I was baffled but with no time to spare since our daughter and grand daughter were soon to arrive to fill the sacks with goodies for the first grade class's Christmas party, I didn't stop to investigate thinking the muffled sound had to be outside at the neighbors.
But after the sacks were ready for the popcorn, pretzels, nuts, and chocolate kisses, I headed down stairs to start a wood fire in the stove to warm our tile and hardwood floors.
This is what flew out when I opened the stove door, yup, a woodpecker. He was tapping on the glass door of the stove.
I jumped back in surprise and then laughed until I began to wonder just how I was going to get him out of my basement. I trooped upstairs and left him to fly around as I set up the hot air popcorn popper and got out the popcorn. Two ( our daughter and I) would be better than one to try and catch this unexpected visitor and I wanted our little two year old grand daughter to see what came knocking on Grandma's door.
We both put on gloves, our coats, in case he scratched or pecked us, and we started to corner him. He of course took off in flight and I reached up and snatched him in mid-flight. Boy, was I surprised but not as surprised as our daughter who let out a squeal and then slapped her hand over her mouth. Yes, she knows better than to make such noises having been raised around livestock but she is our girly girl.
There was no way I thought I'd nab this bird this easily but I guess the skills I've gained chasing and catching chickens that get out of the chicken coop is good for birds of a different feather too.
We let him loose and he flew off clear to the other side of town and beyond out of sight. I bet he didn't stop until he reached the trees way over yonder on the bison ranch.