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.