The sunrise is a ways away … but I don’t mind waiting. My mornin’ routine is all by design baring the possibility of chance and intrusion. I love to come out to the front porch early, sit in my swing, and breathe the clean air of a new day. Usually, at my fingertips is my coffee and a large jar of Jumbo Virginia Salted Peanuts. The throwing peanuts are for the Blue Jays, and of late, the Cardinals and one curious Titmouse who carries off peanuts almost as large as itself. The extra birds I cannot explain.
Later in the mornin’ I will have my ration of gruel (oatmeal) with two submerged pork sausage patties maximum.
At times, the Blue Jays are waiting on me though some mornings it will take up to thirty minutes before the show up. They gather singly, or in twos or threes on the lower branches of the trees and stare at me … waiting for their breakfast or early morning snack. If I am slow to respond or have fallen asleep, the mornin’ gathering makes a racket of screams, whistles, squawking and such caterwaulin’ that I have to pay attention and dig into the peanut jar.
I generally arch a throwing peanut down below them and watch as they dive through the branches for the treat. The older Blue Jays will land and study both the peanut and myself along with the Gretchen dog. They fly away at their leisure. The younger Blue Jays dive down and more often than not grab and escape with the peanut without their feet touching the ground.
When the light gets to where I can start trying to take a few photographs, I start placing peanuts in the center of the bird bath. In the early morning, the light is better there than anywhere else in the yard. The younger Blue jays had trouble with the water for a time since they couldn’t judge how deep the brackish liquid was staring back at them. After a few awkward attempts and several successful efforts, they are no longer slowed down by their drinking water.
One strange coincidence had a Cardinal come down and retrieve one of the Blue Jay peanuts. I was so surprised I missed the photograph. Later another came by for another peanut and though the photograph has the bird at an odd angle … rear-end pointing towards the camera … a peanut can clearly be seen in its small mouth.
All the while I am feeding the Blue Jays and their unexpected guests, my neighbor, who also has an early morning regimen, is feeding several nearly wild kittens that have taken up residence on his front porch. It is irony standing knee deep in irony.
I am not a cat person so …
To keep the peace, I may have to concede the front yard to my neighbor and go back to the back porch where I am really more comfortable. And, the Blue Jays are quite familiar with the tall pine tree and bird feeders containing black oil sunflower seeds. We shall see.
Next Week … Down The Road or something current …
To See more photographs go to oldguyphotography.com