Date: 5/23/20 6:03 am From: Ted Levin <tedlevin1966...> Subject: [VTBIRD] May 23, 2020: Coyote Hollow, Thetford Center
5:08 a.m. 48 degrees, wind ENE 1 mph, barely a noticeable breath. Clouds: knuckle-like piles and mare's tails across the sky, cirrus and serious; whites and light gray with the faintest hint of magenta. Some as luminous as newly minted coins. Long rents between the shaped and shapeless moisture . . . runs of azure straight to Valhalla.
The valley: green from wetland to ridge. No wonder the intermittent streams stagnate and the permanent ones run quietly . . . the trees are conduits between ground and sky, just like the science book says. Rain soaks into the ground. Roots siphon water. Leaves exhale it, twenty-four seven. Millions and millions of gallons of groundwater become clouds, again. One big aqueous family. Although I'm part of that majestic cycle, I cannot stop thinking of goshawks, out on a limb . . . watching. Waiting.
A veery's cascading song. Behind a curtain for trees, a grouse drums on a log stage, heedless and lonely. An alluring dance . . . but he can't be sure who's watching. It's a brittle situation, one on the cusp of paralytic fear. A century ago, a winter influx of goshawks on Martha's Vineyard helped eliminate the last heath hens on Earth. "History," wrote E. O. Wilson, "is not the prerogative of the human species. In the living world there are millions of histories."
High in a bigtoothed aspen, framed by clusters of bright-green leaves, a red-eyed vireo sings his tedious song. On and on and into the morning. Above the vireo, a sapsucker rings a limb. A resident of a world gripped by pandemic, I head home footloose and fancy-free . . . homeboy at home.