On moonless nights from the shadows they creep, carrying sundry items within black bags necessary for their nefarious task. Okay, okay maybe dressing up the stump is not quite that secretive or clandestine, but almost. It really is carried out in secret. Thought you mind be interested in the legend of the “Stump Spirit” of Blue Jay Way.
The origins for decorating the stump on Blue Jay Way, a private road serving five ranch families, began benignly enough. A neighbor boy one day left, perhaps by accident, a metal snake on the stump on the Norris property next to Blue Jay Way. Soon thereafter the snake disappeared and a pottery red bird appeared in its place no doubgt to signify the beginning of Spring. Before we knew it, prior to every holiday or season, the stump changed its appearance and the themes grew progressively more elaborate.
No one really knows who provides the decorating (well not unless you catch the sheepish perpetrator in the act–the neighbor in the headlights look). Nevertheless, six or so times a year, our previous lowly nondescript oak stump becomes bedecked in new finaries, befitting the season or occasion. Below are a few examples:
The one on the left celebrates the laid back “dog days” of summer with a cold drink and a hound dog with a baseball cap under an umbrella. The one on the right with pumpkins and a scarecrow appeared prior to Halloween.
Thanksgiving gives rise to a turkey, a pilgrim, and, a hunter. Christmas is the most elaborate usually and on rare occasions, the stump has even been lit up with twinkling Christmas decorations.
Now the real question to ask is why do the denizens of Blue jay Way do this? I really don’t know. Speculations run from the eccentric activities of the bored retired set, or you have to do something with all the stuff you find during Spring housecleaning, to perhaps a little bit too much of the grape! In any event, the decorating of the stump provides a collective activity for our small ranch neighborhood that brings us closer together.
It has even led to a semi-annual “Stumpfest” where we gather together for bonding, food, beverage, and music. What a way to get to know your neighbors. I have even suggested we don bedsheets and show up like druids on the summer and winter solstices. Needless to say, my wife, the eminent duck wrangler, shot this one down in a hurry. Oh well, not all my ideas are keepers.
So there it is, the Stump Spirit of Blue Jay Way. It is kind of fun and gets you out of the house on those moonless nights.