An English In Kentucky


















Thursday October 6th 2011    Tim Candler

      This year from the Blue Jay community there is a Southward trend.  Don't actually recall the impression I gleaned from them last autumn, but in autumns past I have seen them trending Northward.  It's a confused and apparently aimless procession they have, and no doubt my own  Blue Jay theories also have flaws.

    But it seems to me that as seasons change Blue Jays travel.  I'll see a stream of them.  Fourteen, fifteen, twenty.  Which is not an insignificant number, especially when they call to each other as they fly in that loud and hair-raising way.  This procession and its noise has always struck me as containing reluctance. They are not going to a funeral, it's more like the first day of school when there is perfectly good television at home to watch.  Which is why I believe oversight of communal behavior in Blue Jays is the purview of something like a poorly motivated drill sergeant or a mystic.

     There are some Blue Jays who don't join the procession. They take no notice of it. These Blue jays are not moved by peer pressures, or gloom.  They do not see the stars and wonder.  They have nuts to hunt down and bury, which is a busy and all consuming purpose.  So I have asked the question why, and I have answered it by telling myself the difference between Processional Blue Jays and Non-Processional Nut Hunting Blue Jays is Blue Jay age. Which is a totally un-quantified  leap that only a pedant would apologize for.

      I will say the Nut Hunter is an older Blue Jay.  It's the younger ones that are drawn by an ancient and half seen memory of greener and taller trees somewhere else, and it's the old fools who dabble around in the cut grass, hide Acorns in the Perennial Border, sit in the Apple tree to forget.

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