blue jays

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…

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.

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.

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.

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.