blog photo 53 bluejay.JPGWHAT IT IS

Cinder Willoughby wanted to know where the critters were disappearing to when they went under the stone trestle near Ellwood City, Pennsylvania. He cleverly developed a super micro biodegradable GPS that he placed inside peanuts destined for the stomachs of blue jays that frequented the area.

He crafted four GPS’s and the birds quickly devoured them before disappearing beneath the stone trestle. Willoughby fired up his laptop and watched in disbelief as the jays crossed vast distances in just a few minutes. One crossed the US/Canada boarder heading to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, another to Boston Massachusetts, the third to San Francisco and the fourth flying to the open waters of the Caribbean.


It is a well-known fact the Bohemian Waxwings will often flock together sharing their food among one another. Mutt Jefferson observed this behavior one evening at Mississagi Provincial Park as he was admiring a huge motorhome pulling into a campsite. The waxwings, sitting in a stand of Pin cherries, were passing berries from one bird to the next until one would decide to eat the fruit.

Interestingly, a number of blue jays watching this exhibition of communalism, started sharing acorns with one another.




blog photo 38 cactus flower.JPGWHAT IT IS

Sapphire and Cricket make the trip to Digby Neck in Nova Scotia, Canada almost every year to toss Christmas cactus flowers into the ocean near where their parents’ small airplane went down.

In 1988 their parents were flying home to Sudbury, Ontario from Quebec City when they were asked to divert their flight to Halifax, Nova Scotia to meet with the Minister of Lands and Forests. While on route, the single engine Cessna was engulfed in dense fog off the coast of Brier Island. Despite weeks of searching by the Canadian Coastguard, the wreckage and their bodies were never found.

Sapphire and Cricket, fondly remembering their parents’ love of Christmas cactuses, always bring some prized flowers and scatter then into the sea.



One of Margaret Brookside’s extracurricular duties as Administrative Assistant to the Mayor of Beaver Falls is to organize the annual Christmas cactus photo contest.

Photos from around North America are sent to Margaret to be entered into the competition. This year, noted biologist Cinder Willoughby, who was working up the highway in Ellwood City, volunteered to judge the photographs. Pictured here is Sapphire’s entry, an entry Willoughby didn’t consider a winning photography.