They come at first light, announcing their arrival. Acorns from the large pin oak in our yard carpet the ground below the dogwood tree, and bluejays have been enjoying the harvest.
I watched one bird pick up an acorn and fly up to a sturdy dogwood branch. Pinning the nut between his feet, he drew himself up to full height, and then, with a swift motion, he brought the full force of his beak down on the acorn.
It took several blows to crack the nut before he was able to extract the bitter meat and gobble it down. His mini-meal finished, he discarded the empty shell, and went to find the next nut.
If things go as they have in past years, the acorns will be gone long before the lawnmower comes out of the garage. It's good to have a cleanup crew.