Date: 5/18/20 6:46 am
From: Ted Levin <tedlevin1966...>
Subject: [VTBIRD] May 18, 2020: Coyote Hollow, Thetford Center
5:11 a.m. 49 degrees, Wind S, 0 mph, a *very *weak planetary exhale. Sky:
lackluster and blue-gray; clouds, a shapeless skin of moisture strung from
east to west. Nothing special. Intermittent streams move quietly. Permanent
streams still polish rocks. The vertical fluff of coltsfoot seed
heads radiates around the seed petal-like, which makes the flowers
superficially appear to be dwarf ox-eye daisies. White ash in bud; every
other tree species in leaf.

Warblers: nine species. Vireos: two species. Flycatchers: two species.
Thrushes: two species. Plus, all the usual suspects. A flock of parulas
arrived last night and sing from crowns of white pine; toneless
buzzes rising with the sun. Watching them cramps my neck. Two
black-throated green warblers perch close to each other in adjoining
hemlocks. Sing, their phrases rising, falling, and rising again. Birds of
cool, shady woods, of damp ravines, black-throated greens are as much a
part of rhododendron and Fraser hemlock in the Great Smokey Mountains as
they are of ledgy outcrops and eastern hemlock in the Greens. Their
enthusiasm and unifying devotion define the place, as much as the trees
themselves. When he sings his little heart out, hemlocks come to life. In
fact, black-throated greens are to hemlock woods what lox is to bagels, an
inseparable combination . . . each made infinitely better by the presence
of the other.

Flyover loon, silent. Bittern calling. A female sapsucker bleeds a sugar
maple, the same arrhythmic tapping, though much quieter than her mate's
territorial proclamations. Back to me, she imbibes sap; her grayish-white
stippling blending into the maple bark. Up the tree, she moves.
Begins again. No warblers or hummingbirds visit the holes today.

On the south end of the pond, a pair of house wrens chases each other
around. Beyond Type-A personalities, house wrens could be clinically
diagnosed with ADHD; everything about them is perpetual, both physically
and acoustically. Male sings a disjointed mix of warbles, trills, hisses,
bubbly notes that, rising and falling, sounds *much* too loud for such a
small bird. Never a dull moment in the wonderful world of house
wrens; they're the perfect antidotes for depression, my concentration
refocused in a nanosecond. Wrens, devilishly chaotic, demand attention,
command attention. I forgive them for every nest they trashed, for every
hole they poked in a bluebird egg, both minor infractions in the Big
Picture of interspecies coexistence. Feeling blue or unfocused, COVID-19
got you down . . . look for a house wren.
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