There's More to Life Than Knitting!

Join Suna as she stops knitting long enough to ponder her life, share her joys and concerns, and comment on the goings on in the world.
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Friday, May 4, 2007

Garden Drama

This is the kind of excitement I want more of in my life.

Yesterday, Beccano and I were sitting on the patio surveying the damage a bad storm did to the potted plants. We propped up a few things and decided everything would recover, even the battered tomatoes.

He said, "Hey look at the blue jay." And there was a big on on the woodpile (we have a sizable collection of debris, some of which will be firewood, the rest of which is slowly being put out with the trash each week and currently serves as wren and sparrow habitat). The jay began screaming suddenly. We laughed at how loud it was.

Then he said, "Whoa, there are a lot more jays now," and sure enough, 8 or 9 of them began flying around the crape myrtle and Monterrey oak. They looked like bouncing blue balls of energy. All of them were making a very loud blue jay screech (not the pretty jay sound, the screech). We wished we'd had the recorder out so that we could use it on animations or make it a cell phone ring tone.

As we sat there enjoying it, Beccano jumped up and said, "SNAKE! Mom, look!" Sure enough, a fair-sized rat snake was crawling under the fence into our yard. It quickly made its way under the firewood pile. That seemed to satisfy the jays, and they screeched just a few more times, then flew away, other than one lone sentinel, who stayed at least another ten minutes, Beccano, who brought a chair over for at least 20 minutes only to report it poked its head out a couple of times, and one very curious wren. We figure that the jays' nest had been a target of the snake, or something. Or, they just don't like snakes (who could blame them).

That was a really fun backyard drama. I looked and looked for an image of an angry blue jay, and I chose this one by Jim Spencer, the guy who illustrated Stuart Little. I imagine the one in the illustration was yelling at the moth. Or eating it.

P. S.: In other wildlife news, what I didn't post about last Friday was that Beccano called me at work, in a panic. Naturally one of the rare moments my boss was in the office. The dogs had brought in a bloody, dead rat. He bravely disposed of it and cleaned the carpet, but it made him sick to his stomach. I told him, "Now you are a man, my son." And now I know one of the disadvantages of the doggie door.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If I remember right, there are threatening silhouette shapes that are hard-wired to be recognized by the brains of birds (or whatever animal is prey to that shape of animal). So it doesn't surprise me that your blue jays would be hysterical over a snake. It's pretty common even for humans to do a double-take when there's a garden hose or squiggly stick in the grass. I sometimes wonder what those white mice are thinking when we drop them from the carry-out box into the snake tank... probably NOT what I think - that snakes are elegant and graceful. ;-)