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.
 
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