Date: 1/4/21 7:06 am
From: Ted Levin <tedlevin1966...>
Subject: [VTBIRD] January 4, 2021: Coyote Hollow, Thetford Center
7:21 a.m. 27 degrees, wind SWS 0 mph. Sky: hot sun climbs, cold half-moon
sinks. Teased by the orange-rising sun, clouds separate out of the
blue-gray ceiling into isles of cotton. Bright and white in a now cerulean
sea. Flurries settle on a half-an-inch of fluff that outlines every branch,
peppers every trunk a zillion white lines. Conifer limbs sag. Christmas
ferns collapse. Permanent streams: hillside gargle, dark water hemmed by
white, a tight fit gets tighter. Wetlands: a glazed and glorious landscape.
Reeds more white than beige, evergreens more white than green. For a brief,
enchanted moment, my valley becomes a Hallmark greeting card or the
backdrop for an Andy Williams Christmas Special. Pond: a deer wandered over
the surface, loops and lines, north to south, back and forth, mammalian
calligraphy penned by split hooves. Certainly, hunger didn't drive the deer
onto the snow and ice: the only food, a couple of overcooked leaves, brown
and dry as dust. I believe the deer enjoyed itself. Danced under the gleam
of a half-moon shrouded by clouds on a white night in winter.

Deer walks along the road, drags its heels like a boy scuffling in
oversized boots. Thoughtful chickadees. Bellicose jays. Seven crossbills, a
hushed pass over. Two crows, tangibly and unarguably tolerant . . . of
everything we do.

Vermont as the world imagines it, purged of ills . . . no Covid, no
opioids, no poverty, no hunger, no domestic violence, no climate change, no
alcoholism, no racism. Greeting-card Vermont—lots of syrup and cheese and
designer beer—a ruptured reality.
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