Sunlight leaks down from the treetops. A blue jay’s brassy call. Then the silence resumes where it left off.
New snow blown about by a bitter wind. A red-tailed hawk struggles to gain altitude, mocked by a blue jay doing its best hawk scream.
Just above freezing but it feels like a day at the beach—sun on white sand, a steady breeze, the surf-like hiss of pines, a jay for a gull.
Clear and still. A blue jay in the big maple drops down to the stream, and stands on the bank stabbing at the dark water with its bill.
Cold with mellow sunshine. A vociferous blue jay pauses to swipe its bill vigorously against the branch and scratch its face with one foot.
From under a hat brim ablaze with sun, I gaze out at the stiltgrass glazed with frost. Jays in the treetops. Falling acorns tick and tock.
Another cold, clear morning. When the jays and squirrels stop yammering, the silence seems unusually thick. Then it hits me: no crickets.
Hard to pin-point the emotions evoked by familiar bird calls, beyond just “blue jay feeling,” “nuthatch feeling,” “goldfinch feeling.”
I take off my hat to sunbathe as icicles drop, turning the roof toothless. The brass section tunes up: jay, cardinal, song sparrow.
Sun gleams on the rain-damp leaf duff. In the blue sky, a grackle cackles. Blue jays jeer. The lilac limbs are beginning to blush green.
Male cardinals bathe side-by-side in the stream, then resume chasing. A jay perches in a dogwood bush shaking the water from his wings.
A skim of snow. A jay monitored by three fierce chickadees gives that red-tailed hawk scream—the one that signifies an eagle in the movies.
Blue jays jeering in the steady rain. In January. One more thing that doesn’t feel right on a day when the world is out of joint.
A bitter wind. Through three layers of head covering I can hear the trees squeaking and groaning and a pair of jays exchanging urgent cries.