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.*