Sunday, May 4, 2008

A Note From the Wilderness

The backyard menagerie is almost complete, for the blue jays came back today. My husband is landscaping a corner of the lower yard and each, separately, went to investigate this new terrain. Lots of yummy snacks in the newly turned earth. And then I had to laugh. The jays, individually, began jumping around the backyard. Yes, jumping, not flying. It was like some invisible string was pulling them up and down like yo-yos. They jumped from rock to rock, from fence to yard. At first I was a bit worried that maybe their wings had been hurt in some way, until it hit me that they were having a grand old time.

They both happened to land on the same patch of earth at the same time and you should have heard the squabbling as they faced off. Lots of noise and name calling and then they hopped off together up the hill.

We sort of tend to lump all the birds we see into one general category of "birds." If you spend enough time observing them you begin to see that each species has its unique differences, its own idiosyncratic personalities. The robins are fairly complacent, flying into the yard alone or in groups, with no problem in sharing the space. The chickadees are a bit more gregarious, bigger talkers, but still no problem with sharing the space. The cardinals are more reserved--the pair happy to be with each other but needing no one else around. They quietly go about their business of foraging--until the blue jays arrive. Those blue jays just can't resist starting a ruckus, whether with each other or with the cardinals or with any other birds who are in what they have decided is their real estate. You can almost think that they enjoy stirring things up, that they are happiest when its loudest around them.

I love that our summer visitors have come back to see us again. They provide hours of enjoyment, and I've got a front row seat in my desk chair by the sliding doors. Who needs television when nature provides such a spectacular show.


Anonymous said...

Are you sure you live in NYC? Sounds more like the country then the city, and a lot nicer.

Anonymous said...

I envy you the wildlife. About the only wildlife we see where we are living now is the teenagers who cruise up and down the streets.