Sunday, February 12, 2012

Singing the Blues over a Tropical Memory

For as long as I can remember, the Blue Jay has been my favorite bird. I can't say for sure what initially did it for me. Its nagging personality, dominant behavoir, striking coloration - I'm not sure. But, whatever it was, I have loved this bird for a long time.

Almost everyday I put out a hand full of peanuts for no other reason than to make sure my Blue Jays are happy. If I rush off to work and forget to put out the peanuts, I worry all day about what my Blue Jays must be thinking about me. Nothing could ever replace my Blue Jays.

And then it happenned. My first dose of true temptation on December 30, 2010 at Laguna Atascosa near South Padre Island, TX. My wife and I were at the feeders for about two minutes when it showed up. My heart dropped, my blood pressure went up, and I became instantly still. I became infatuated with "another bird". The guilt was terrible but, I could not stop looking. The green feathers, the blue feathers, the tinge of yellow - oh, the excitement! I knew the bird would be cool but I had no idea it would be THAT COOL!!!

I was infatuated to a point of tunnel vision, no other bird mattered. It was all about the Green Jay for the remainer of the trip.

The day I said goodbye to South Texas on January 2, 2011 was hard. On the way to the airport, on the plane, and as I was driving home, all I could think about was that entrancing green that I saw in Texas. But, on January 3 I realized that I was only infatuation as I looked out my living room window and instantly realized, my Blue Jays could not be replaced and that they needn't worry.


It happenned again. This time on January 2, 2012, my first day of a weeklong birding adventure in South Texas with my friends Rob and Eric Ripma. Just like before, the Green Jays arrived and instantly, nothing else mattered - at least not as much as the Green Jays. There were Hooded Orioles, Altamira Orioles, and Great Kiskadees everywhere. The Salineno feeders were a hub of colorful activity. But it didn't matter, all I wanted was the Green Jays.

We stopped at a number of cool destinations and saw some very cool birds throughout the trip but my heart had turned green and no matter where we went I was always hoping a Green Jay would make its appearance - and, it almost always did.

The trip home was much like before, I was sad to be leaving such and extroidinary bird but I knew once I saw a Blue Jay again, I would remember the species that owned my heart. But this time, it has been different. My Blue Jays are making me smile as they always have but I feel like something is missing.

Something gaudy and green with a lot of Texas hospitality.

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