Date: 7/21/20 5:47 am From: Ted Levin <tedlevin1966...> Subject: [VTBIRD] July 21, 2020: Coyote Hollow, Thetford Center
5:19 a.m. 60 degrees (simply marvelous), wind ESE 1 mph (a cryptic breeze). Sky: Casually clouded; wispy suggestion, bright with a rosy pink blush. Red-shouldered hawk lording above the valley, a scream into empty air. Permanent streams: limping to the finish line. Wetlands: a thin bowl of dissipating mist that reminds me of cigar smoke in the overhead lights above the boxing ring at Madison Square Garden, circa 1967, when Mohammad Ali dismantled Zora Folley. If the hawk wants to perch, it has a thousand horizontal options from which to fix its vision. Pond: outflow culvert halting drips; rolling fog vanishes before reaching the treetops. How many mornings am I going to look at the same emergent snag and think it's a snapping turtle? A green frog, in need of tuning, twangs. A rain of lavender raspberry petals. Jewelweed blooms; tiny orange trumpets, hummingbird goblets, which transform into irresistible banana-shaped seedpods that curl up and explode when touched; the unintended gift of a hummingbird.
Tanager in the oaks; a vocal marathoner. Crows assemble by the pile, discordantly cawing; harvest stale rolls and eggshells; ignore cucumber peels and orange rinds. House wren, an audio sniper, rapidly fires from the pines. Color may be subdued but not voice. An effervescent crooner; a machine gun minstrel. So much sound from such a little bird. Everyone should have a house wren in their neighborhood; there's never a dull moment nor a silent one, full of verve and mischief. I wish I had assigned the house wren as my boys' totem bird. The ideal bird to emulate. Full of life. Every day's an adventure in sound, an excellent repertoire of trills, rattles, bubbly notes, nasal whines flung carelessly from the thicket, never a sad, gentle acoustical ballad. House wrens, which nest from southern Canada to southern Argentina and on the Caribbean isles, are the most widely distributed bird in the New World, a hemispheric bird that ought to make every undocumented immigrant feel right at home . . . even if we don't.