Date: 6/21/20 5:27 am From: Ted Levin <tedlevin1966...> Subject: [VTBIRD] June 21, 2020: Coyote Hollow, Thetford Center, VT
5:41 a.m. 61 degrees, wind NNW 0 mph. (Father's Day. I slept in.) Sky: tissue-paper white, soft and foggy (tissue-paper thin), cloudless. Then, seemingly all at once, the lower atmosphere congeals to chowder. The entire valley encased in fog, which hangs at treetop-level above the wetlands like a cloud that lost its buoyancy. Fog everywhere . . . thickening, eclipsing, enshrouding; the big pines along the far shore where the red-shouldered hawk surveils have been blotted-out. To verify what I'm seeing, I consult the Weather App on my cellphone. In all caps, just below *Thetford Center* reads the word *FOG*. We're in sync. I'm relieved. Where would I be without my phone?
DOR: bullfrog, pancake-flat and as large as a slipper; an optimistic milk snake, a yearling (makes me sad).
Too bad I can't wring moisture out of the sky; permanent streams need a transfusion. Their stone-studded interior looks like weathered bones. A fossil streambed.
Robins calling and singing, chasing each other through the woods. Time for a second clutch? Are the first-clutch fledglings hungry? Is everybody lost in the fog? A pair of hairy woodpeckers, above it all, tap an ailing cherry limb. A clamorous mob of red-eyed vireos up and down the road, both sides. Nothing dissuades them; Father's Day a foreign concept. Vireos are all working too hard.
A yellowthroat, his behavior subdued, calls from an alder limb; his sidekick, the chestnut-sided warbler nowhere to be seen or heard. Perhaps, he has chicks to feed? The world is turning, ripening, dispersing . . . and ever so slowly darkening. Father's Day is late this year. Birds don't seem to notice and carry on in idiosyncratic and unassailable ways.
On the pond: two painted turtles idle on the surface. No sign of otter. No sign of snapping turtle. It's a another day, full of promise, full of fog . . . my phone says so.