Date: 6/25/20 5:45 am From: Ted Levin <tedlevin1966...> Subject: [VTBIRD] June 25, 2020: Coyote Hollow, Thetford Center
5:18 a.m. 50 degrees, wind NE 0 mph. Stillness in the air. Sky: a broad, hazy peach-colored band across the south; blue-white and cloudless everywhere else; morphing by the moment; color drains and small clouds appear along the rim of the horizon. Permanent streams: slightly refreshed after yesterday morning's rain, have atrophied; puddling up; need a stethoscope to see if they're still relevant. Morning is altogether bracing. Cool air holds mosquitos at bay and draws moisture into the air. Yesterday's rain transmutes to fog, which rises a third of the way up the trees along the far shore of the wetlands; higher to the west; tendrils of fog in the east and south trace every crease and corrugation in the hillside, every scalloped ridge; rises with the sun. The world smokes as the morning ripens.
Late June: volume turned down on most songbirds. Tanagers hushed and invisible, not even a hint of scarlet in the oaks. Black and white warbler striped like a jailbird, paroled in the maples, silent as a fugitive. Three ovenbirds chase each other; no time to sing. A red-breasted nuthatch slowly repeats its tedious, nasal mantra. Pewee flies by, perches for a moment; then gone. Veery and hermit thrush, choral scholars, the exceptions this morning, sing like its May; elegance rising with the mist. Like gathering water my hands I try to hold the music that just seeps through me.
Chestnut-side warbler high in a cherry; yellowthroat in fir. Their silence an implication that Earth has rotated away from the solstice, that defense of territory is less important than feeding nestlings, that the art of survival has discrete phases . . . we and they have entered another one. I want it all but satisfy myself with what I have . . . a morning like no other in late June.