Date: 6/17/20 10:39 am
From: Ted Levin <tedlevin1966...>
Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] June 17, 2020: Coyote Hollow, Thetford Center
thank you, Diane☺

On Wed, Jun 17, 2020 at 1:32 PM Diane Brown <deejbrown...> wrote:

> Your writing is exquisite, like the sweetest notes from the finest violin,
> bringing me to tears.
>
> Thank you.
>
> Diane Brown
> Middlebury
>
> On Wed, Jun 17, 2020 at 9:25 AM Ted Levin <tedlevin1966...> wrote:
>
> > 5:05 a.m. 47 degrees, wind NW 0 mph. Sky: empty of clouds; a rose wash in
> > the south. A landscape photographer would cut out the sky; there's
> nothing
> > there, just pale, barren blue. A magazine photographer might not,
> however .
> > . . an editor could layout a title or a lead graph in the vacant sky;
> > that's about it. A blue void . . . except for a goose, alone and silent,
> > that passes southeast. Wetlands veiled in anorexic mist. I can almost see
> > individual droplets, which collectively blunt the crowns of spruce and
> fir,
> > which hem the far shore. Veeries spin music out of the mist. Outflow pipe
> > from the pond no longer drips. A pair of robins, like spotted sandpipers,
> > hunt the emergent rocks in the lower of the two permanent streams; pick
> > dormant insects that wait for rain. House wren back to speed; rapid-fire
> > song at machinegun pace.
> >
> > In the front yard, a pair of hairy woodpeckers idle on the trunk of my
> > black walnut . . . a *most* personal tree. Thirty-three years ago, when
> > Linny was pregnant with Casey, she decided that we should collect walnuts
> > from a large sweeping tree that grew on a nearby dairy farm. We were
> given
> > permission to gather nuts, which littered the yard like pebbled linoleum.
> > We collected a bushel, the most magnificent walnuts I'd ever seen, each
> one
> > almost as big as a baseball, with fragrant, yellow-green husks, like so
> > many odd-shaped apples. Of the approximate one hundred nuts we gathered,
> > seven germinated. After Casey was born, Linny called the sprouts Casey's
> > trees. She planted them in the yard and fussed over them. Four survived
> the
> > first year. A deer ate one the second year; another died of unknown
> causes.
> > When we moved to Thetford, seven years later, the trees came with us;
> > two-feet tall—quintessential slow-growing hardwoods—roots longer and
> > stouter than trunks. During the three years that we lived on Houghton
> Hill,
> > one of the saplings died. By the time we moved to Coyote Hollow, we had
> two
> > boys and one tree. The walnut was now eight-feet tall. We hired
> landscapers
> > to transplant it.
> >
> > When Linny died in 2000, the walnut was coming into its own.
> >
> > Now Casey lives in Colorado and the tree, his tree, that his mother so
> > lovingly tended, is over forty-feet tall, more a than a foot thick at
> > breast height, and lords it over the compost pile and garden. Sapsucker
> > holes like necklaces skirt the trunk. A rose-breasted grosbeak, bold
> among
> > feathery leaves, its breast on fire, sings sweetly . . . a birthday tune.
> > It's Casey's birthday today; he and his tree, a pair of
> > thirty-three-year-olds. Even red-eyed vireos sound sweeter today.
> >
> > The world's on fire, and a flicker lands in the walnut. Yellow and white
> > and tan, spotted and barred, black bib and mustache, red-nape and
> > gray-crown . . . a birthday bird. I only wish Casey was here to see it.
> >
>
 
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