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*.