Date: 7/20/20 11:24 am
From: John Holme <00000062fa0d6268-dmarc-request...>
Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] July 18, 2020: Coyote Hollow, Thetford Center
Ted,  Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful writing.
On Saturday, July 18, 2020, 02:45:42 PM EDT, Ted Levin <tedlevin1966...> wrote:

5:08 a.m. 63 degrees, wind SSE 2 mph. Sky: thickly fogged, condensing on
leaves and dripping; sounds like rain. I walk inside a cloud, where
treetops are indistinct and green grades toward white. Spiderwebs hung with
dew. Permanent streams: alive and well after yesterday's rain; flowing but
not like April or May. Intermittent streams: seep and puddle. Wetlands: as
though peering through chowder; opposite shore eclipsed by fog. Pond: a
mist machine; surface smooth.

Red-eyed vireos sing with mid-May intensity and persistence, everyone else
turns the volume down. Neighborhood warblers vocally withdrew; only
ovenbirds and chestnut-sided still singing, the ovenbirds loudly. Two
tanagers, high in the oaks, carry on. Even though they're adorned in neon
scarlet, there's no chance I'll see them; I can barely see the tops of the

Deer flies, little hollow tubes of hunger, desperate to be filled—gorgeous
rainbowed eyes and large clear wings with dark bands, all the better to
find me. Like mosquitoes and ticks, females imbibe blood to make and
provision eggs. Her bladelike mouth slices through the skin, an
anticoagulant keeps the blood flowing, and a spongy *labrum* laps it
up. Males have weak mouths, sip nectar, and eat pollen. Growing up on Long
Island, I faced greenheads, the coastal version of the deer fly, big
emerald eyes, and even bigger appetites, which added a kamikaze element to
adventuring in the salt marsh or fishing on a windless Great South Bay. The
jumbo version of the deer fly is the horse fly, big enough to hit with a
shovel, and a constant companion in photography blinds in the Everglades.

I need to commission a dragonfly (or two) to hover above my head, to tether
to my binoculars; I'd send it across the morning to sweep my personal space
clear of deer flies. Unfortunately, the parade of dragonflies that paroled
the wetlands left after the beaver decamped, leaving me behind to slap and
pinch and swear.
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