Date: 7/15/20 5:46 am
From: Ted Levin <tedlevin1966...>
Subject: [VTBIRD] July 15, 2020: Coyote Hollow, Thetford Center
5:14 a.m. 61 degrees, wind N 1 mph; only aspen leaves know there's a
breeze. Sky: overcast with gaps; textured with highlights, which swell in
the east like pizza dough. A convergence of stream, a byproduct of
yesterday's deluge, rises thickly and carelessly out of every hillside
crease, thin traces of vapor elsewhere . . . but the wetlands and the
pond, which remain steam-free. Permanent streams: clear and loud; less
volume than yesterday. Intermittent streams: alive and flowing; one retains
its voice, murmurs softly. Wetlands: saturated, a riotous green. Pond:
level high; water brown, thick with silt. Lichen comes alive; blotches on
maple and ash, a saturation of gray-green.

DOR: unidentified squashed frog
AOR: a pair of grit-gathering robins

Birds ramp-up activity. Pewee, silent for more than a week, eponymously
whistles, a simple, poignant song with conviction. Veiled by a filigree of
leaves, a scarlet tanager sings. Patiently, I wait, peering into the
treetops until my neck stiffens, but see nothing; a bird that glows like
molten metal the flame of its feathers quenched by wet leaves. Red-eyed
vireos sing with renewed confidence, yesterday's torrential rain behind
them . . . *oy vey*. Across the wetlands, out of steamy green woods, a
black-billed cuckoo calls, vague and hollow.

Last night, I drifted to sleep, serenaded by three gray treefrogs, the
first I've heard since early June. Lured by torrential rains, the frogs,
pressing needs unfulfilled, sang with the urgency of spring. Drought
temporarily arrested, a world lush and green, hope returns. Treefrogs
respond. Not the deafening chorus of summers past; but a lingering
reminder, nevertheless, that water and life are synonymous.
Resurrected from the moldering leaf-duff, the frogs climbed into the alders
and sweet gale and cut loose, a uvular trill, husky and resonant. From a
remote valley, a barred owl called, an anonymous pronouncement that July,
flush for the moment, shapes the future. Alexander Pope likely never
tracked the comings and goings of frogs and owls, but he knew that *Hope
springs eternal*.
 
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