The sun was doing its best to put me to sleep as I lounged in an Adirondack chair on my deck on a warm and sunny Saturday afternoon. I was attempting to read, but the print kept slithering into smudges on the paper as cotton crept into my mind.
Suddenly, a flash of blue and a cocky swagger jolted me alert. There he was—pugnacity on display with that black crest—perched on one of the flower boxes that line my deck perimeter. A Stellar’s jay, the scalawag of the bird world, looking to cause trouble, no doubt, after chasing all the songbirds away from the feeder.
What mischief is he up to, I wondered, and foreseeing nemesia uprooted from the flower box, I waved a hand at it to leave. It did not, of course. This rascal was bent on destruction. With a short flight it landed on another Adirondack chair a dozen feet from me, near the hose bibb.
He’s up to something, I thought. What can this raucous devil have in mind?
Not quite out of sight behind the barbecue grill, I saw it lower its body onto the edge of the green plastic chair. I leaned forward to see what trouble it was causing now.
What I saw was this lovely bird settled on the edge of the chair, iridescent blue wing and tail feathers spread, joining me in an afternoon’s bask in the warm June sunshine—utterly charming its way into my heart.
June 22, 2008