Saturday, May 21, 2011

One Tough Mama

Several weeks ago, a pair of blue jays built a nest in the birch tree close to the north side of our house. The twig nest with its messy lived in look is well situated on a branch growing from the south side of a good sized limb. Smart bird. The location protects the nest from the north wind and weather.

After mama blue jay began sitting on the nest, we hired an arborist to remove the large silver maple tree from our backyard. The maple split because of carpenter ant damage and we were afraid it would fall on the house. We also asked the arborist to trim the birch because it was hanging all over the neighbor's drive and our roof. I requested the branch with the nest be left on the tree. By late afternoon, our gutters were clean, the maple was a pile of sawdust, the birch had fewer branches, and the female was back on her nest, albeit slightly more exposed to the weather.

Later in the week, smaller than golf ball sized hail fell and I wondered if the bird would suffer a concussion. She survived. On Thursday and Friday, glorious spring thunderstorms with wind and heavy rain rumbled through the area. This morning the male and female are checking the eggs. He flies in, she moves to one side, and they peer into the nest. Then he flies off and she nestles back down on top of her brood. I wonder if the clutch is hatching. I can't see or hear them yet.

In other news, a religious fanatic has predicted the Rapture will begin today. More rain and thunderstorms are forecast for this evening. As I write, the blue sky is dotted with cumulus clouds. Rain has washed the streets clean and filled the birdbath. I'm taking my cue from Mama blue jay. The world, flawed but refreshed by rain, will continue to turn.

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