It was snowing on our last day at Sax-Zim Bog. The temperature had dropped ten degrees from the day before and the wind picked up so it felt much colder than the 18° the thermometer registered. The Canada Jays were the first birds we noticed at the feeder in the woods on the side of the road on that day. The Canada Jays are much larger than the Chickadees and other small birds we saw regularly at the Bog and they have many of the characteristics of the California Scrub Jays with which I am familiar: gregarious, raucous, pushy. But Jays are among my favorite birds from well before my bird photography days started so I am drawn to the Canada Jays at the Bog. One of the things my photographer friends razz me about is my tendency to focus on what they call “Carolisms.” Usually Carolisms are subjects that I make a point of photographing, and they are usually oddities or humorous things that I notice and no one else notices. In this case, my Carolism was serendipitous not deliberate. It is a barely noticeable snowflake on the nape of the Canada Jay’s neck. I thought it was pretty cool that the snowflake retained its shape after landing on the Jay. Of course the cold temperatures kept it from melting.

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