I posted stills of this scrub jay awhile ago, but I was unable to upload this short video via Blogger, so it sat for a while.
Here it is courtesy of YoTubular.
I chose the scrub jays for today's post because of where I am.
I'm playing hooky from school today ... using a little personal leave so I can watch Junior run and throw the shot in the regional track meet in Orlando. He made it through the District Tournament and this Regional Tournament is the last step before state competition.
He's a senior, so this could be the final chance to see him compete in high school athletics.
And THAT is why I am blogging to you this morning from the Winter Garden McDonalds on SR-50.
THAT is not why I chose today to use the little Florida Scrub Jay video. I took back roads all the way down, not worrying about the road numbers, just keeping the sun where it's supposed to be as I passed through farms and small towns ... Sumterville, Webster, Center Hill, until I bumped into SR-50.
Fifty cuts across the state, in an East-West sorta way, and it will get me near my target, The Payne Stewart Athletic Complex at "The First Academy" in Orlando. Junior doesn't compete until about 1:00 pm, so I am taking a few minutes to blog and enjoy McDonald's pretty darn good coffee.
I chose the Scrub Jay, because once SR-50 brought me near Clermont, a rare thing happened.
Usually, you can't see too far from a Florida road due to our flat terrain and abundant trees.
Here, on these sandy hills, you get "vistas" as you drive.
The view all around was pretty depressing, rampant sprawl construction adjoining the highway and hill after hill covered with cookie cutter homes that almost bump up against each other.
The sandy hills of Florida's central ridge were once prime habitat for the scrub jay ... and a host of rare plants and animals that need that habitat.
Without preserves like Cedar Key Scrub where that video was shot, the scrub jay would be a doomed species.
Just a reminder of how important habitat protection and the Florida Forever program is to future generations of wild things and ... human things too.
Happy Earth Day, Earthlings.