On a crystal-clear morning, the whinnying cry of a red-bellied woodpecker seems full of angst, and a jay’s rasping call—pure frustration.
Sunrise stains the treetops. The woods are full of anxious-sounding calls: chipmunks, jays, nuthatches, an endlessly scolding squirrel…
Cold, all-morning rain. Tall goldenrod stalks bow their shaggy heads. From up on the ridge, the nasal calls of blue jays.
A leaf-footed bug lands on the railing, orange-tipped antennae glowing in the sun. From the edge of the woods, a blue jay’s raspy cry.
From high overhead, the faint cries of swans. I scan the clear sky in vain. A blue jay drinks from a seep in the yard beside the dogwoods.
I come out to find my chair at the end of the porch and turned to the north. A jay is doing his best to reply to a raven’s imperious […]
Thick fog. A steady drumming of snowmelt on the porch roof. A bluejay in the barberry, out of what looks like sheer boredom, begins to yell.
A few small birds are among the sideways-flying snowflakes. From the tops of the pines, two blue jays issue their usual denunciations.
Another zero-degree morning. The wind hisses in the tops of the pines. A blue jay squeaks like a rusty hinge. The sun comes up.
Jays, crows, and a raven: the solstice soundtrack. When I open my laptop, a red bead of a ladybug is huddled among the black keys.
Warm and overcast. It’s the first day of deer season, and the silence seems charged. The sun appears for three seconds. A blue jay calls.
Rain and fog. A dead branch gives way under the weight of seven jays, who fly up screaming as it crashes to the ground.
Wind tosses the leaves that last night were glistening in the moonlight. A blue jay does its red-tailed hawk imitation, but nobody’s fooled.
At 8:30 in the morning it’s still warm, but I hear the cold front coming: the hissing grass, the shuffling leaves, the hoarse cries of jays.
As it warms up, the noise from the valley fades. Seven blue jays land in the tall locusts, looking anything but blue against the clear sky.
The air is hazy but cool. Asian ladybugs fly back and forth, orange elytra aglow. A jay forages in the leaf duff, bluer than the sky.