America’s Wild Read: City Wilds
The nest of a blue jay is a “temporary, provisional architecture made of material plucked from the yards and gutters within a one-block radius, a landscape that is, thanks to a nearby mom & pop store, teeming with the detritus so attractive to a blue jay eye: glinting lottery tickets, popsicle sticks still sticky with grape or orange goo, newspaper twine, and candy wrappers, especially the Kit-Kat with its shook-foil silver lining.”
In her essay, “Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah,” Emily Hiestand writes of the blue jay couple building a nest in the wild black cherry tree outside her living room window. Heistand is editor-at-large for the environmental magazine Orion. Her essay is the first to be discussed online as part of America’s Wild Read, where you can read the essay and join the discussion.
Heistand notes while watching the jays build their nest that she is “fluctuating between a quiet panic at having a life so marginal that she can spend most of a day watching blue jays nest and the sense that to observe a bit of creation come close to your window is to be at one of life’s hubs.”
All of the essays in the book City Wilds, edited by Terrell Dixon, draw attention to urban nature.
Other essays in the online book club series include: