Date: 11/11/20 7:08 am From: Ted Levin <tedlevin1966...> Subject: [VTBIRD] November 11, 2020: Coyote Hollow, Thetford Center
6:24 a.m. 50 degrees, wind E 2 mph. Sky: a C*hicken Little *morning, clouds and fog united, visibility dissolves, dawn stretches, blue jay has nothing to say. The ambiguities of the morning. Permanent streams: a pair of rocky crevices curling down the eastern rim, water withdrawal, an unfinished flow, dampened volume. Wetlands: dim and quiet. Pond: unrippled and austere, marginalia littered with milkweed seeds. Mergansers elsewhere. Connecticut? New Jersey?
AOR: six slugs, slow-motion migration, head west. One leaves a crooked slime trail.
A wraithlike deer walks through crisp leaves. Dogs' attention ratchets. Leashes tighten. Deer runs across road, tail up . . . all hell breaks loose.
The internal rhythm of the morning: sleepy. The merriment of chickadees . . . always. Downy woodpecker, a faint avian telegraph. Two hairy woodpeckers, unseen, call, loudly and sharply, fog-piercing notes. Red-breasted nuthatches less prominent, white-breasted more prominent. Two titmice calling in the hardwoods, a clear, two-part whistle like an amped-up spring peeper, far less common than chickadees, their trusted associates.
Yesterday afternoon, out of the northwest, circling above the woodland canopy, a red-tailed hawk. Back and forth. Around and around. An adult, rust-red tail teasing the breeze. Eventually, the hawk gathers itself into a teardrop, tail pinched, wings against flank, and pours south, over pastures and marsh, from bird to dot in less time than it took to write this line.
Last Saturday evening, at sunset, while I sat in a chair around a half-finished firepit in Pomfret, a barred owl flew from a telephone pole, over the driveway, across the front yard, directly overhead. In silence and in silhouette, long wings rose up and back like a mobile on a string. Like the bird decor that hung above Jordan's crib, flapping in the lamplight as I pulled on the string. Jordan's fledged now, seeking opportunities . . . without a string of my own to pull, I watched an owl in flux, on long, soft wings, in soft evening light. The journeys of birds and boys are *not* so different. . . everybody has to eat.