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Ramble with Storm: Jay walking

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Mulling things on my morning ramble with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

The squawk of a blue jay is a backyard sucker punch.

Walking out this morning, one frosted on the edges, I wondered what kind of idiot I am. For the second cold morning in a row, I forgot to wear gloves to walk the meathead.

Fortunately, for once in my life, a blue jay did something good and interrupted that train of thought. There's no good answers to that question.

High in a neighbor's tree, a blue jay squawked. So insistently that I easily found it.

I enjoy the sight of blue jays.

One of my sadness was the decline of blue jays at my backyard feeder in recent years. The decline is apparently related to West Nile virus. For several years, we had virtually no blue jays coming in.

Hard to say this, but I actually missed their squawking.

The last couple years we are starting to see a few around town again.

And it makes me happy.

That's a little odd, considering my distaste for blue jays goes back to deer hunting in my early teens.

Back then, I came to associate the relentless squawking of blue jays with seeing no deer while sitting and waiting in the woods.

In my head, the squawking became the equivalent of a flagger before road construction--``Caution, danger ahead!''--to all the deer in the woods.

I doubt that is really what happened. I suspect to deer, blue jays sound like squawking too.

But I've learned to not only live with the squawking, but savor it.

This morning, it focused my attention to listen to the natural background noise. The strongest undercurrent of sound was the cooing of mourning doves on all sides. Intermittent bursts sounded from songbirds I can't name. I really wish I was better at IDing songbirds.

At the town pond, I heard the Canada geese honking and giving Storm and me the business. But this morning, the initial squawk of a blue jay had me tuned in to the background sounds.

Beyond the honking, on the north end of the town pond, I heard red-winged blackbirds.

A spring sound.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on April 9, 2010 8:24 AM.

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