Date: 12/24/20 7:29 am From: Ted Levin <tedlevin1966...> Subject: [VTBIRD] December 24, 2020: Coyote Hollow, Thetford Center
7:14 a.m. 36 degrees (42 degrees warmer than last Saturday), wind S 6 mph. Residential avalanches: the thud of snow sliding off the roof. Sky: dull, a tedious sunrise behind a gridlock of clouds, all gray with the promise of rain. The constant drip of melting snow. Air, one step removed from a fog. Last night, on my landline, I received a weather-alert: headed to Vermont, two-inches of rain, winds gusting to 70 mph, the potential for downed trees and power outages. Permanent streams: withdrawal of snow. Ice holes, wider and louder. Wetlands: yesterday, again (minus sunshine), reeds more beige than white, evergreens sloughed off much of their snow load. The remainder drips. Sounds like rain. Looks like rain. Feels like an impending disaster. Pond: still frozen, feeder stream open, surface snow melting. More deer tracks, several days of knotted trails. Whitetail version of sheepshanks and bowlines and half-hitches. Older tracks melting and widening.
A pair of crows, halfhearted *caws*. On the flight path of seven crossbills, over the road and pines, across the marsh's north end. Constant chatter. Signal to far off pines, limbs bent with cones. Birds due to land, displacing wet, dripping snow. Due to tweeze seeds from cones like a mother removing splinters from a child. I can't recall the last Christmas Eve I passed with crossbills . . . must have been a long time ago. It might have been never. I'll savor the moment . . . who knows when the chance will come again.