Date: 11/17/20 7:54 am
From: Susan Tiholiz <stiholiz...>
Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] November 17, 2020: Coyote Hollow, Thetford Center
I misunderstood and thought the tape deck sound was coming from nuthatches. Definitely better coming from squirrels!

Susan Tiholiz
214-478-7395 (cell)


> On Nov 17, 2020, at 10:50 AM, Ted Levin <tedlevin1966...> wrote:
>
> 6:42 a.m. 30 degrees, wind SE 0 mph. Sky: the sun sneaks into position
> behind a thick bank of clouds, fissures and holes brushed by silver light,
> a faint, uncluttered blush in the east . . . more transitory than a mayfly.
> Permanent streams: spills over and around stones, miniature cascades, a
> rejoice of babble . . . a soothing, auditory banquet. Someone needs to
> listen to streams; home for the indefinite future, I'm perfectly suited for
> the job. Wetlands: color and sound muted, not a single flyover. Somewhere,
> in an unseen pine(s), a tweezer-billed chatter, red crossbills out for
> breakfast. Pond: a mishmash of ice, unconnected panes and shards, snow
> flurries bouncing on the ice, more ball than crystal, some stick, some
> melt, a seasonal seasoning.
>
> A female hairy woodpecker works a dead pine, gentle taps as if loosening a
> jar's lid, chips of air-cured bark float down. Both red-breasted and
> white-breasted nuthatches call, nasal notes repeated, both monotonous,
> red's clearer, higher, and shorter than white's—a head-cold serenade. In
> the mid-nineties, when The Traveling Wilburys released their first album, I
> strived to recognize the voices of Tom Petty and George Harrison. (Bob
> Dylan and Roy Orbison were easy.) Nuthatches are like that, at first: short
> and nasal versus shorter and more nasal. Pausing, I listen to
> gravity-defying tedium. The dogs, bewildered, a pair of clueless canines.
>
> Many years ago, when I studied wildlife biology as an undergraduate, our
> class subdivided Delaware county, Indiana, into a grid system. On
> designated mornings, I drove my grid and counted roadkills—raccoon, red
> fox, long-tailed weasel, thirteen-lined ground squirrel, and so on. Back in
> class, we used a formula (long since forgotten) based on the number of
> roadkills to index each species' population.
>
> I don't think that formula applies to DOR pinecones. Since late August, a
> shower has littered my walking route, cut and left by red squirrels. Most
> of the cones are gone now, retrieved by squirrels; a few pulverized into
> the dirt road, a sticky, white resinous stain—a reminder of the occasional
> overproduction in the natural world. If I need further proof that 2020 is
> the *Autumn of the Pinecone,* I listen for lingering crossbills and watch
> the red squirrels attend their own cone caches and raid their neighbors',
> lots of helter-skelter rushing and whirring voices like tapedecks run amok.
 
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