Date: 12/31/20 7:34 am
From: Ted Levin <tedlevin1966...>
Subject: [VTBIRD] December 31, 2020: Coyote Hollow , Thetford Center
7:18 a.m. 34 degrees, wind SSW 4 mph (music in the beech). Sky: gray, raw,
on the move, a ruffled quilt, horizon to horizon. A dusting of granular
snow, tiny balls like upholstery stuffing. Permanent streams: ice . . .
deep tunnels and submerged sheets, *far *more than I expected. Main
channels pinched between metastasizing shelves that jut from both shores,
oddly shaped like Chesapeake Bay's margin. Emergent rocks thickly coated.
Wetlands: noisy crossbills above a sleepy marsh. I scour the sky and the
pines, but I can't find them. Silently, red squirrels keep to themselves.
Pond: even though the night was above freezing, the delta froze shut. The
surface echos the clouds, gray and ruffled, with a few highlights. Dogs and
I lurch along the shoreline, hoping for something more than yesterday's
news . . . nada.

Last day of a barely endurable year. Astonishing grace notes of a hermit
thrush, an otherworldly song in the early weeks of the pandemic. Then, as
time passes, I became hobbled by the constriction of restriction. How do I
touch the people I love if I can't leave home? Rescued by a comet with a
million-mile tail. Rescued, again, by the conjugation of planets.
Repeatedly, staggered by a schizophrenic climate and a leader in diapers.
Where would I be without chickadees? Day in and day out, they carry-on
regardless of our news: their voice, their antics, their conviviality, a
preamble to every sunrise of 2020. Snippets of their lives ground me (for a
moment, at least). Chickadee: a bird to be thankful for. Silence my
internal voice with their endless runs of *dee, dee, dee, dee, dee, dee.*
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