The Living Dead of the Forest: Snags and Nurse Logs

Adrienne Domingus
6 min readDec 29, 2022

I sat and watched a pileated woodpecker build a nest for twenty minutes recently. Minutes I meant to be spending doing other things. These largest of Pacific Northwest woodpeckers can be heard from quite a distance — pecking, I suppose, though that word seems too small for the sound they make: a deep, hollow, echoing tone, rapid, but not as quick as some of their smaller cousins. This sound is often…