How to Lose Credibility

Trust me…

A Pileated Woodpecker perches in a crabapple tree. (photo © Meade Cadot)

A Pileated Woodpecker in a very-much-alive crabapple tree. (photo © Meade Cadot)

My first summer as a naturalist for NH Audubon, I was at the Paradise Point Nature Center on Newfound Lake. There was a really large, old beech tree on one of the trails, so excavated by Pileated Woodpeckers in search of carpenter ants that you could see right through it! My second summer at the nature center, the old beech was still standing tall, and probably did so for many more years.

A decade or so later, as director of the Harris Center, I got a phone call from a woman in Hancock saying a Pileated Woodpecker was pounding on a white pine near her house. She was quite worried about the tree falling. I told her not to worry and, remembering the big, old, see-through beech, I didn’t go to check it out.

The next day, a good portion of Hancock village lost power.

Meade Cadot