Lady Jay & Mother Earth |

Lady Jay & Mother Earth

McAvoy Lane
Pine Nuts

Long about the first of May, I noticed a blue feather sticking up from one of the flowerpots hanging on the lower deck, and thought it odd that a Stellar’s jay would leave a feather in one of last year’s flowerpots. Upon closer observation I saw two beady eyes staring back at me, as if asking, “So who are you, and what are you doing in my bedroom?”

I excused myself and quietly backed into the house. Wow, here was Lady Jay, giving me packing orders while making herself comfortable in her Jay Haven Spa. But what mama didn’t know was that a late winter storm was making its way up the Sierra, and would soon be leaking rain down on her back from the upper deck. While she took a potty break and perhaps did some yoga, I noticed that once she had checked in and made herself comfortable, she had laid two beautiful blue eggs.

It was heartening to see dad come along and lavish some affections on her, and as he left he gave that hanging pot a shove, providing her a swing that she seemed to enjoy. Stellar’s jays don’t smile noticeably, but I thought I saw her give him a nod of approval.

Suddenly, I was landlord and guardian to houseguests who were about to get soaked unless I could figure a way to keep them dry in the impending rain and snowfall, as if we didn’t already have enough rain and snowfall.

Reluctantly, I forfeited attending a friend’s lecture, and went in search of a couple tarpaulins that I remembered were hiding somewhere in storage. I found one just in time, and though she was already behind on her rent, spread it across the top deck to protect her new home.

Then came the rains. Luckily there was no wind, yet a large drop of ice water dripped from the top deck onto her back every other minute or so. She never flinched or showed a sign of discomfort, whereas I would have jumped out of my skin. I went in search of a second tarpaulin, found it, and spread it out on top of the first. The drip slowed to one drop every five minutes, which she absorbed without complaint.

Finally, the rain turned to snow and leak stopped. I stood in awe at Lady Jay’s endurance and dedication, and wondered if I could have absorbed those cold drops on my back without swearing myself blue in the face … probably not. I’d have headed for the laundry room vent where it was warm and let those eggs fend for themselves.

Not unlike the Emperor Penguin, our strong Nevada jays have an instinct for survival, an instinct that we humans seem to have given up on somewhere along the line.

Theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking recently sounded a clarion call intimating that we humans have about one hundred years to find another planet. We are as our family of jays, renting this planet, hoping someone might toss us a tarpaulin.

Love Mother Earth.

Learn more about McAvoy Layne at

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