Northwoods Journal 4/21/2013

A hungry blue jay

A hungry blue jay

Sunday, April 21, 2013

No lying abed this morning.  I had no intention of wasting the few precious hours we have left here at our northwoods hideaway in sleep!  It was a frosty 18 degrees when I let the dogs out, but the sky is crystal clear and blue, the sun is shining and there is no wind.  Typical!  We often get the best weather on the day we are leaving!

I have put in-shell peanuts out the past two mornings but since we’ve had no blue jays, I didn’t bother today because they just kept ending up on the ground.  Then low and behold what shows up on the platform feeder this morning?  At least half a dozen plump and loud blue jays!  Needless to say, I quickly put some peanuts out and soon more of their buddies arrived until nearly a dozen of them were swooping in and out.  I put a heavy sweatshirt on over my robe and went out on the porch with my camera to get a few pictures.  Not many turned out, as the jays were too exuberant to stay still and pose!  They have already cleaned the platform feeder off twice in less than a half-hour.

Along with the blue jays we’ve also had dark-eyed juncos, chick-a-dees, red-breasted nuthatch, white-breasted nuthatch, hairy woodpecker and a red-bellied woodpecker.  Also a mourning dove was out pecking about the ground.  Mark said he heard pee-wees this morning.  I wonder if they will nest in our roof rafters again this year.

Due to a social obligation back home, we have to be on the road by noon.  This means we had to let the wood burner go out and now I am hovering as close to the two radiant heaters as I can get.   But according to the outdoor thermometer, it’s warming up quickly outside.  Well, if you consider 40 degrees warm!  All I know is that my hands were ice cold by the time I was finished packing up the clothes in the bedroom – the room farthest from the heat!

Maybe it was the chill that caused Mark to start loading up before I was quite ready to say goodbye to the northwoods.  He decided we would hit the road and stop somewhere south of town to walk the dogs.  Three deer grazed along M33.  We found an ATV trail off Avery Lake Rd. and set off.  A flock of ruby-crowned kinglets were cavorting in the underbrush.  It was Mark who spotted and identified them.  His vision is much sharper than mine.  Unless something is an inch in front of my eyeballs, I can’t see it clearly.

The trail was very quiet and we had a pleasant walk.  All of us were loath to get back in the vehicle and head home but I will comfort myself with the knowledge that we will return in two weeks.

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