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?
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