Date: 12/22/20 8:29 am From: Ted Levin <tedlevin1966...> Subject: [VTBIRD] December 22, 2020: Coyote Hollow, Thetford Center
7:13 a.m. 25 degrees, wind E 0 mph. Sky: fog bound. Permanent streams:
upper, yesterday's fish-shaped slots joined into two long, shapely openings
bordered by a wall of snow. Lower, a pane of ice closes off each hole.
Flowing bubbles press against the panes, mobile (and fleeting) Rorschach
Tests. Loud water. Wetlands: a carbon copy of yesterday, fog-filled,
visibility minimal. Pond: two big, snowless oval patches refroze into
pitted ice—lacing of deer tracks.
Low-flying raven, a resonant croak. High-flying crossbills, three flocks, a
rain of chatter. Small clusters of red-breasted nuthatches, first evidence
since the storm (other than at the feeder). Turkeys hunched over like
elderly men on the Coney Island boardwalk: two in the front yard scratching
for sunflower seeds, five in the backyard scratching for acorns. Stand on
one foot—scratch with the other. With a backward kick, oak leaves scatter.
Then, step back and examine. Peck, peck, peck. Acorns swallowed whole.
Stored in the crop, a grocery-bag of sorts, a pouch, an growth of the
gullet (esophagus). Then, pulverized in the gizzard (muscular stomach), one
of life's *many* accommodations for flight. (Teeth are heavy.)
The morning after the winter solstice, the morning after the conjunction of
Jupiter and Saturn, and I don't see any dramatic changes, in daylight or
anything else . . . other than a splash of late morning sunshine, which
makes all the difference.