Date: 5/21/20 5:40 am From: Ted Levin <tedlevin1966...> Subject: [VTBIRD] May 21, 2020: Coyote Hollow, Thetford Center
5:22 a.m. 40 degrees, wind NNE 0 mph, my world as still as stone. Blue sky stained by a pair of sunlit contrails, conspicuous by their absence these past two months. So novel the appearance of jets, I follow one with binoculars as it spews shiny carbon emissions across the sky vault. NNE heading SSW. Flights from Europe to JFK or Dulles, maybe. When will I board a commercial plane again?
Ribbons of water run quieter than yesterday; some barely so. Dry gullies dry along the road. Depressions in the woods shrink to bowls of mud, which gather curious robins. Mist from the pond, which is scarcely noticeable in the wetland, rises straight up. Two male mallards, one decidedly lighter than the other, graze the shoulder of the main channel. A hen wood duck flies out of the reeds, circles, and then disappears over the trees.
Warblers songs by descending volume: ovenbird (screams); redstart; yellowthroat; chestnut-sided; black-throated green; parula; Nashville; black and white (murmurs), sings high, both its voice and its perch, nests low, often at the base of a tree. A fussy junco, picking grit on the side of the road, inspects pebbles as though panning for gold. I stop and watch. Above me, a chickadee, foraging in needle clusters of red pine, just as fussy as junco. Neither birds nor I am in a big hurry.
Have the solitary sandpipers left the wetland to snapping turtle, whose investment is for life? Have sandpipers headed tor muskeg after having traced the rim of the continent, after having followed the Connecticut River north lonely from the sea . . . after having paused for a beguiling moment for my consideration?