Date: 5/5/20 6:36 am From: Ted Levin <tedlevin1966...> Subject: [VTBIRD] May 5, 2020: Thetford Center
5:32 a.m. Sunrise. Sky partly cloudy. Windy out of the NW at 9 mph. Trees: crowns of red pine swaying; trunks creaking; exposed hardwood twigs in motion. Buds of beech lengthening; red maple keys extend out of dimming flowers, a million little "Vs" salute the season. Aspen heavy with catkins, soon to be loosened. Fiddleheads begin to unfurl. Cinnamon fern, too. Coltsfoot going to seed. Intermittent streams slow to a gurgle. Puddles gone, but not Ascutney, which is in fine relief in the SW, just below a striation of clouds, gilded along the edges.
Half a dozen white-throated sparrows took the red-eye into the front yard. Several sing. Thrushes silent, again. Not winter wrens, which enliven my walk. Juncos and chipping sparrows trilling. Bittern's call truncated: back to cheek-popping having stopped *bloonking* late last night. By dawn, owls hushed. Not turkeys, which gobble and strut around the lower pasture, exhibiting serious stamina, having mated for the past two months. Yesterday, a male visited the *very* low-hanging globe-feeder in the front yard. (The pole shortened by bears over the past decade. Any shorter, the feeder will be available to earthworms.) Turkey stood straight-up, tuck his head under the globe, and made his selection.
A pair of phoebes in the apple tree, fluffed against the cold wind. Just like a hermit thrush, the male sings, his beak barely open, his face expressionless. No one, however, would ever mistake his voice for that of a thrush, which is likely why the eastern phoebe is *not* the Vermont State Bird.
Jaunty chickadee, full of unvarnished candor, zips around the ornamental cherry, the shrub the children of Thetford Elementary School gave my boys when their mother died, the one E. C. Brown delivered, planted, and insisted was a dwarf; would not block the valley when I did the dishes. Full of personality and purpose, the chickadee gathers bits of dog fur and dust bunnies and spider webs . . . the flotsam and jetsam of my life.