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.
Under a bright blue sky, the snowpack gleams like metal. The raspy cries of a jay. Trees rock in a sudden gust of wind, branches clattering.
Alarm calls of jays give way to crows; the crows to a raven. With each corvid, the cry comes from higher in the blue—and closer to the bone.
The stream’s dark thread. A jay pierces it with his bill three times. The scarlet oak I planted so long ago is flying all its red flags.
The tulip tree in the yard has reached that stage where it could be sculpture, each remaining yellow leaf placed just so, jeered at by jays.
A rattle of falling acorns where jays forage. Two pileated woodpeckers in succession land on the dead elm, red crests blazing in the sun.
A jay walks the metal ridge of the springhouse roof, where a tangled mass of Virginia creeper has stretched red tentacles over the shingles.
A turkey vulture glides low over the trees, circles once to gain altitude, setting off a jay and a squirrel, and soars off down the ridge.