Date: 7/23/20 5:09 am
From: Ted Levin <tedlevin1966...>
Subject: [VTBIRD] July 23, 2020: Coyote Hollow, Thetford Center
5:05 a.m. 64 degrees, wind ESE 2 mph. Sky: fog socked, off and on drizzle;
pitter-patter of dripping leaves; Coyote Hollow reveals itself
incrementally like a Polaroid snapshot. Permanent streams: refreshed (a
bit) and gurgling. Wetlands: visible but slowly expanding. Pond: mobile
quilling; a hypnotic run of ever-swelling concentric circles. Ferns and
coltsfoot upright and revived.

Morning chorus. Lead singer: robins, everywhere resounding.
Background vocals: scarlet tanager; ovenbird (one); chickadees,
white-breasted nuthatch (two chicks chase a parent); veery (calling not
singing); red-eyed vireos (hard to believe that they're in the background);
woodcock (flushed from the road; wings whirring); crows; blue jays;
yellow-billed cuckoo (once again); white-throated sparrow (definitely the
truncated song); song sparrows; pileated (most percussive); barred owls
(called all night and past dawn); house wren; goldfinches (an avian version
of Darlene Love, just *Twenty Feet From Stardom)*.

One deer runs across the road less than fifty feet in front of us; dogs
tighten their leaches. Another deer bounds across the wetlands, shoulder
high in reeds, tail immaculate and erect, a beacon in the mist. When Ken
Kesey was asked how he felt about the Apollo Moon Landing, he replied that
we don't deserve to be in space until we learn how to live on Earth. My
boys grew up watching and listening to the kaleidoscopic assemblage of
creatures that lived in or passed through this valley. I wanted them to
bond with their home ground; to track the seasons across the wetlands. I
wanted them to feel the muck rise between their toes; to their awakened
their curiosity to sounds of the night. I wanted them to contemplate the
stars, to feel the *freedom* of uncluttered time when hours passed like
minutes when the magic of the world opened like a flower.

The other night, when Casey called and said I had to stay up to see the
fuzz-ball comet, we had come full circle, the child had become the
father of the man . . . and the father leaned on the hood of his car,
childlike . . . and peered out into the night sky.
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