Essay — Birds in the bath series — Blue Jay

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A feathered bit of sky landed in one of Carpenter Country’s bird baths this week.

Ms. Blue Jay thoroughly enjoyed splashing in the water.

Image source: HL Carpenter


We enjoyed learning about how the inner structure of blue jay feathers creates a trick of light.

Image source: HL Carpenter


Tiny pockets inside the feathers reflect the natural light and make Ms. Blue Jay’s feathers appear blue instead of brown, the color they actually are.

Image source: HL Carpenter


Meanwhile, the gorgeous red of Ms. Cardinal’s feathers, seen here as she politely awaits her turn in the bird bath, comes from pigments that she gets from her diet.

Image source: HL Carpenter


What did you learn this week?

Emily Dickinson – Nature, Poem 51: The Blue Jay
(Public Domain)

No brigadier throughout the year
So civic as the jay.
A neighbor and a warrior too,
With shrill felicity

Pursuing winds that censure us
A February day,
The brother of the universe
Was never blown away.

The snow and he are intimate;
I ‘ve often seen them play
When heaven looked upon us all
With such severity,

I felt apology were due
To an insulted sky,
Whose pompous frown was nutriment
To their temerity.

The pillow of this daring head
Is pungent evergreens;
His larder — terse and militant —
Unknown, refreshing things;

His character a tonic,
His future a dispute;
Unfair an immortality
That leaves this neighbor out.


***** ABOUT THE AUTHOR *****

HL Carpenter is a Florida-based mother/daughter duo who writes family-friendly fiction from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit Carpenter Country at



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