Thursday, April 22, 2010

Scrub Jay

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.


Hills.

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.

Not anymore.

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.

11 comments:

LauraHinNJ said...

Sweet!

Who's making all the noise in the background?

Sayre said...

Thanks! I wish more people were as mindful of how much people impact the nature of things - like scrub jays. Go, Junior!

Anonymous said...

Hi Fellow Earthling,

Hope you had a great time and that Junior did well at the track meet.

I hate it that Clermont looks like it does. It used to be such a pretty area with the groves. I was in Clermont last year and had to go to Apopka. The road I took was beautiful! Rolling hills, plenty of green. Like the old days.

Have a good weekend FC.

P

Dani said...

I know we've talked about this before, but I'm still wondering why the Scrub Jay isn't our state bird.....seems so silly to have a mocker.

Floridacracker said...

Laura,
Not sure about the background song!

Sayre,
Thanks! He did well, but won't be going to state. Another milestone.


Patio,
Until I got near Clermont, my backroad ride was that way too. Green and pretty.

Dani,
I know!!! Nothing against mockers, but GEE WHIZ! This is FLORIDA! It's not like we don't have some amazing birds to choose from.
We should start a movement.

Lynn said...

Ah yes, the scrub jay. My dh used to work for Lake County Parks and Recreation and one of the rangers was a big proponent for the scrub jay. With all the development that has happened here, there are few areas for these little guys left. There are less areas for gopher tortoises and gopher mice too. My dh picked up a tortoise as it was trying to cross 441 and took it to a local park and it ran (as much as a tortoise can run!) right into a hole. Later he found out he could be fined for it. Go figure. Better the tortoise should die on 441 than to be carried a couple of blocks and saved.

Aunty Belle said...

Hope Junior shined!

Ya came this close to the Porch an' din't stop in fer lemonade?

Webster? Heh...BIG flea market thar on Mondays

Floridacracker said...

Lynn,
I would have moved it too. Still do.
That applies to lazy indigo snakes also.
Most FWC officers are loaded with common sense, so I take my chances on the letter of the law/intent of the law when either of these animals are in the road and it is safe to stop.

Aunty,
Had I known I was passing ...
MONDAYS?
They have it on a day when everyone is at work?
I was hoping it was a Saturday thang.

Doug Taron said...

Mmmm...Cedar Key Scrub...I'm a bit jealous that you got a much better look at a scrub jay than we did the day we were out there together. The end of the video was especially cool. Once the jay moved onto an area with a darker background, it really showed off its beautiful blue color.

Dani said...

Indigo snakes *swoon*. They are GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!

Suwanee Refugee said...

You were in my neck of the woods. Well, at least pretty close. Word on the street is that Stewart went to FB Orlando.