Holler Blues~

All Holler critters are ecstatic drought is done!
California Scrub Jay is normally quite shy.
But winter drought seed shortages,
draw him close for Holler hand-outs!
Giving us an up-close glimpse,
of happy winter blues!
Cheers to you from The Holler’s joyful jays~

288 thoughts on “Holler Blues~

  1. I don’t know nothing about birds, apart from the supposed fact that some birds fly while others mostly tend to float. This bird in your pictures however is truly beautiful with his blue coat. He (?) looks like a master of ceremonies at a wedding. All is going well, but where is the bride…. πŸ™‚

    1. Lucky you! Are they western scrub jays? I think the reason ours may be so shy is because they live in The Holler’s oak groves and are inundated with nuts and seeds to eat.. The drought reduced the availability, so they are finally willing to feed at the Holler bird feeders.

  2. I’ve noticed that the birds have pecked all the pyracantha berries down to the last one, and seem to be going after any fruit left on the trees. I swore I wouldn’t buy more bird seed in this new house, but I’ve relented. None of it has gone to waste here in the new house, that’s for sure.
    ps……… your photographs are just so beautiful.

    1. Yes, I have seen them do this too! We have lots and lots of unpicked pomegranates in our orchard and this usually feeds the birds all winter, but not this year, causing even the jays to come to the Holler feeders. I am glad you are putting out seed~ <3

  3. I am very happy too for all the little ‘tweeters’ who now don’t have to fly elsewhere to look for water and vegetation, etc. to eat on. May they all be blessed with sweet treats and all mother nature has in abundance for them. πŸ™‚

  4. The scrub jays up here in the pacific northwest look similar, but have more grey on their undersides. They rule over other local birds, including their Steller’s jay relatives, but not our resident crows. I heard people can train them to eat peanuts out of their hands.

  5. You certainly captured images that reflect a certain assertive mindset they have here. When it comes to going out and getting food, they look like they mean business! That look in their eyes!

    1. I know! They are just awesome.
      Essentially they want little to do with me.
      Sometimes they will pop over to our actual house to watch what all the other birds are doing at our various feeding stations, but they remain elusive.
      I got a few good shots over the nine years I’ve lived here!
      We have several large oak groves on our property and the western bluebirds, several sub-types of woodpeckers (including a really rare type), other rare and exotic local birds, and the scrub jays, tend to hang in these groves.
      I wear snake books, have chairs permanently in place for observation, but am basically unsuccessful at capturing any really good photo.
      It is still amazingly fun to watch them though!
      Birds, as you and I know, are wonderful!
      Hugs to you dear Lyn, lots of them~ <3

  6. How wonderful for everyone that the drought has broken. It will be interesting to see if the blue jay keeps coming out of habit or will revert to seclusion.

              1. I don’t but there are plenty around here. One of the pubs has a spectacular thatched roof.
                I rather expected AA Milnes’s house to be thatched. Another illusion shattered.

                1. No illusion shattered thank goodness, wise man. It was originally thatched. Of course it had to be! It is how I imagine it as well. Note reference:
                  “Cotchford Farm is a farmhouse building to the southwest of the village of Hartfield, East Sussex, it was originally built with wattle and daub infilled walls and a thatched roof, but … Milne wrote all of his Winnie-the-Pooh books at the house, often inspired by the local landscape, and died at Cotchford Farm in 1956.”

                  1. ‘…it was originally built with wattle and daub infilled walls and a thatched roof…’ Now it’s brick and slate. It’s a bit like that guy who’s had the same broom for 35 years. It’s had three new heads and two new handles.

  7. Really stunning captures. I think sometimes we take for granted the beauty around us. This reminds viewers to be still a while and notice again.

  8. Beautiful. I’ll be singing that Vera Lynn song all day now. All together: ‘There’ll be blue birds over…..’!! πŸ™‚

    1. He does have oodles of personality doesn’t he! They have excellent senses of humor and are so much fun to watch. Thank you for your thoughtfulness Teagan and hugs back to you~

    1. These are typical. I am now confused though about whether or not there is a difference between Western Scrub Jays and California Western Scrub Jays. I will have to google it.

    1. ‘And my friends have lost their way.
      “We’ll be over soon,” they said.
      Now they’ve lost themselves instead.’
      This happens all the time here. I just assumed they were smoking too much pot! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

  9. We have many Western Scrub Jays and Steller’s Jays in my neck of the woods…I love watching them! Excellent photos, here…happy Friday, my dear friend!

  10. Pingback: Holler Blues~ | O LADO ESCURO DA LUA

    1. We’ve controlled the snails in prior years thank goodness, so they are not too bad now. We live amongst very old orchards, so the bug situation here is like something out of The Hellstrom Chronicles. We get some incredible bugs!

  11. Beautiful Blue Bird, Cindy. <3
    I once read, happiness has always seemed like a bluebird, and consists of moments. This beauty makes you stop and cherish the moment. <3
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend. xox

    1. Yes the mythical Bluebird of Happiness! The bluebird is the patron saint of “women who lived outside traditional roles.” My kinda bird! Check out what wiki says about these ancient beliefs:
      “The symbol of a bluebird as the harbinger of happiness is found in many cultures and may date back thousands of years. One of the oldest examples (found on oracle bone inscriptions of the Shang Dynasty, 1766-1122 BC) is from pre-modern China, where a blue bird (qingniao) was the messenger bird of Xi Wangmu, the ‘Queen Mother of the West’ who began life as a fearsome goddess and Immortal. By the Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD) she had evolved into a Daoist fairy queen and the protector/patron of “singing girls, dead women, novices, nuns, adepts and priestesses…women [who] stood outside the roles prescribed for women in the traditional Chinese family”

      1. Excellent, dear friend. Klausbernd says “thank you, Cindy!” πŸ™‚ KB writes books about symbolism and collects anything interesting and is all smiles … and so are Siri, Selma and myself. We very much like the idea of being women and Fairy Beings totally outside traditional roles. 😊 πŸ’ƒπŸΌπŸ‘­βœ¨πŸ’«β­οΈπŸŒŸ πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

        1. “We very much like the idea of being women and Fairy Beings totally outside traditional roles.”
          It is a wonderful reframe of how to think about ourselves isn’t it! I love it too. It just feels ‘right’.
          I wonder if Jung is up there somewhere enjoying Klausbernd’s mind. and this discussion! It wouldn’t surprise me.

      2. Dear Cindy
        I suppose that the bluebird is the patron for women living outside traditional roles has to do with it’s colour. The colour blue symbolises introversion. That’s easy to experience, if you look at a blue surface you have the feeling you are drawn into it. Kandinsky called it “the centripetal power of blue”. And so it doesn’t take wonder that blue is the colour of romanticism – the blue flower of romanticism (going back to Novalis’ fragment “Heinrich von Oftedingen”).
        On the other hand blue is mainstream as well, as most people of the western world have blue as their favourite colour. But this is the polarity you find in every colour. Blue between mainstream and individualism.
        Thank you very much for your information about blue in the Chinese culture.
        Have a happy Sunday

        1. Fascinating about the connection with introversion, and the water metaphor makes perfect sense with it’s enticing nature, doesn’t it. Maybe Narcisiss wasn’t just gazing at himself, but thinking of diving in! Love this idea that blue symbolizes individual escape and thus somehow, happiness. I know you contemplate rivers and this imagery brings forth even more associated symbolism. Blue is also associated with sadness, and with melancholy, soulful music in mainstream culture. Interesting isn’t it? A color that represents such opposites in people’s minds, happiness/sadness, introversion/romanticism, and the possibility of escape.
          This discussion makes me think of grapheme synesthesia. Maybe you and I are lucky enough to have a bit of this.
          You are wonderful to talk with Klausbernd. Thank you!

          1. Dear Cindy,
            thank you very much, it’s great talking with you, I really appreciate it πŸ™‚
            It’s interesting that all the primary colours show this polarity. Goethe saw this polarity as a basis of nature. And I suppose that makes symbolism like colour symbolism that powerful, as it is multi-dimensional (in contrast to the one-dimensional).
            Anyway this were just some idea on a sunny Monday morning.
            Have a happy week

              1. I suppose to make something interesting it needs a tension/polarity as it reflects the polarity that is basic for life (Nietzsche was emphasising this point). If I remember it right, the Buddhist believe that life is produced by the polarity of the highest and the lowest chakra. If you die this tension is nullified.
                Maybe every basic symbolism like colours reflects the structure of life. It mirrors the human structure – your Yin-Yang-idea.
                Thanks for your inspiring imput πŸ™‚

                1. Fascinating Klausbernd. Buddha talked about “right action.” And of course there is the polarity within our own psyches, the dialectical tension between the id and superego, the clash between positive and negative self talk, all these diametrically conflicting impulses. It is all such a mystery, fun to ponder, impossible to truly figure out. Maybe death will resolve the mystery, but that is the most ultimate mystery of all!
                  Be well my friend.

    1. Yay, introducing you to a new bird makes my day! The bluebird is the patron saint of unusual women who occupy non-standard roles according to ancient Chinese beliefs, so of course you respond to her! <3

            1. Yay! The other thing you will notice is how Zen like the experience becomes. You truly do become fully engrossed in the moment with out effort or meditation.

    1. Yes, I think around food sources they are, like feeders and picnic grounds. But at The Holler they have oak groves with tons of natural food, so the avoid my feeders, until the drought, brought them closer.

  12. What a lovely shade of blue this jay is. What a great feeling it must be to capture a very shy species in an image or two.
    Actually it looks a bit like a sparrow in shape.

  13. As a bird lover, jays are at the top of my list. I never knew one could be shy. I used to live in a quiet area and would leave my kitchen back door open. It never failed. Nearly every day, a blue jay (most likely the same one) brazenly flew into my kitchen and grabbed whatever scraps of fruit were left on my table. My young son and I marveled at this. It was quite thrilling to watch. Great post, Cindy, as always. πŸ’™

    1. Oh my God! I would so love this! Everyone is telling me their jays aren’t shy and I have seen this in picnic grounds, but at The Holler, they are reticent and elusive. I am guessing it is because they normally have a steady supply of food items in the oak groves.

    1. Awww, what a lovely comment. Thank you! Birds do definitely seem to sense when people care about them. I think wild animals in general are good at perceiving threat, and hence non-threat. We had a window strike this morning. I sat with the sparrow, waiting to see if he revived. He did slowly. Finally he was up and okay and we just sat together, with him occasionally snoozing, which caused me to close my eyes. When I next looked he had flown away~

    1. Oh yes! Laughing. Feeders for the seed eaters and the nectar eaters, boxes for the owls, fruit for the fruit eaters and baths so everyone stays clean! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

    1. I love them. We have 600 species of birds in my county, more than anywhere else in the continental US. I got some clicks of a new one yesterday, and have yet to research what it is. Love this, and I know I would love your garden and your birds my friend! <3

              1. Oh yes! We get all the big guys ☺ It is truly hilarious watching a magpie clinging for dear life to the bird feeder full of nuts intended for the dinky little blue tits! We have a pair of them usually doing battle with the pair of big fat wood pigeons for space on the table πŸ˜‰ Magpies are serious gannets and generally big bullies! But can’t not fees them anyway when they land pointedly on the bird table when I appear outside….and there’s nothing for them to eat…They are soooo manipulative! lol πŸ˜ƒ

                1. I took a bazillion photos of a some magpies harassing a fox family in central London. I had just flown in from Africa and was looking forward to some tea & civilization. Ha! It was safari time in central London. I was glued to my hotel window that would only open about four inches, photographing down into the Duke of Bedford’s walled garden for hours and a couple days watching the drama. The parents caught a magpie. The kits were practising stalking the magpies, and the magpies gave them holy hell for days! It was wonderful. I never did get the tea, but I was fully entertained.

          1. And here’s a video ☺ Apparently we have blue Jays too but can’t say I’ve ever seen one. Seems the typical British Jay is also known as the Eurasian_Jay. That was news to me as well!

            1. He’s gorgeous! And they mob hawks! How brilliant of them. They seem like a cross between north american woodpeckers (who hide acorns like your jays) and Stellar Jays with the stripes. I would love to see and photograph them! Thanks for the photos and videos. What fun~

  14. Cindy, your photos of birds are so beautiful and always my favorite! Today, in snowy NY, a lovely female cardinal was seeking shelter near our windowsill. I wanted to get a photo but I would have disturbed her by lifting the blinds.

    1. I have seen one cardinal in my entire life, so I would very much love to see yours, even better with the snow, for the photo of course, not for you, or the cardinal! <3

    1. I think it makes him a bit self conscious, almost as if he knows he stands out among his more dun colored peers. The orioles are here now though, so he’s beginning to get his spring-color competition! πŸ•ŠοΈ

      1. Always wonderful to get back home, no matter how much fun and great times transpired while away. Like Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home,” Cindy! πŸ™‚ <3

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