Date: 10/17/20 7:07 am From: Ted Levin <tedlevin1966...> Subject: [VTBIRD] October 17, 2020: Coyote Hollow, Thetford Center
7:06 a.m. 36 degrees, wind NNE 6 mph (parka and hat; no gloves, fingers numb). Sky: overcast and raining, a low, gray ceiling; a dusting of snow in the front yard and along the road edges. A *raw* morning, like youthful treks along Jones Inlet, watching November gannets plunge for killifish and purple sandpipers stalk the jetty, on the verge of being swept away; my fingers red and sore. Permanent streams: upper, full and loud and fast; lower, fuller and louder and faster. Nearly brim-full, even though lower dries up first, it carries much more water and freight. Intermittent streams: a semblance of permanence; roadside gullies carry water. Wetlands: color and channels deepened by rain; a wood duck overhead, disappears beyond the eastern rim, beyond the valley, a bird on a mission, flung by necessity. Pond: water pours out of the overflow pipe with fire-hydrant force; surface pocked and clear; pine needles gather tightly in the south cove, a perilous platform. Milkweed's done for the season, collapsing stems and dropping leaves. Beech leaves, tenacious and thin, the color of old pennies; oak leaves, tenacious and thick, the color of rusted nails; both echoes of tropical origins; trees that have not fully embraced the deciduous idea. A yellow maple leaf, a zigzag descent. A yellow birch leaf tumbles. A black cherry leaf floats. Others spin and drift; daily, more bare branches rake the sky, and dull, wet leaves spot the road.
AOR: robins and juncos, grit picking, in no hurry to leave
DOR: two small green frogs, a fatal exodus, smashed en route from pond to the marsh; intestines empty and unspoiled.
Flush a pair of grouse, an explosive sound. Dogs come to life in a way no chickadee provokes them.
Evidence of a tilting Earth: four days without red-shouldered hawk; three weeks without snake or bat; five weeks without vireo. Leaves fall in waves, lifting the veil from the woodlands. There, a ledge, where the vultures nest and the bobcat walks, unseen. There, a slick hillside and an empty army of trunks. Expect change, the fidelity of change, enduring, never-ending . . . it's the wonder of living with seasons.