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.
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