There were the remains of a hunter's stand nailed into the tree...which was perhaps the work that had eventually killed the tree. We cut away all the dead limbs (widow makers) that hung over the trail to the dock when we started living here. Thus when this marvelous behemoth released his/her hold on the earth it fell away from the dock and toward the salt bush at the edge of the river. It looked so much bigger when pushed to the earth.
A new meal for our resident pileated woodpeckers through this winter.
On a happier note, the last male osprey, Fred, left for warmer weather last week and I missed seeing, while sipping my coffee, his silhouette against the sky each day as he sat on the snag above his nest. When the sun was out most days I saw the resident blue heron taking possession of the abandoned nest while grooming himself/herself. (It is a terrible photo...taken in a rush!)
This morning as the gray day broke I saw the silhouette of larger bird on the same tree snag. At first I thought it was a vulture resting. Then as the light grew brighter I grabbed my binoculars and saw that it was an immature bald eagle waiting for the heaviest rains to diminish or perhaps just waiting in a new place. I hope he comes often in the months ahead even though they are very shy, but he/she will certainly move to another part of the woods when the osprey returns in the spring. The arrival of nesting season in the spring will make these two top 'dogs' dangerous enemies.