Date: 1/8/21 7:59 am
From: Ted Levin <tedlevin1966...>
Subject: [VTBIRD] January 8, 2021: Coyote Hollow, Thetford Center
7:29 a.m. 21 degrees, wind NNW 9 mph, a grim disturbance. Gaunt pines
creak. Sifting and stirring, crowns rotate clockwise. Sky: gray grades to
blue and white. A mountain of clouds blocks the sun. Permanent streams:
panes of ice like teeth or stalactites, grown from splashing water, extend
down from the mouths of episodic caves. I'm mesmerized by churning water.
Dogs, waiting for my recovery, sit down. Wetlands: a holding pattern. Wind
parts reeds, speaks in tongues. An absence of red squirrels, which have
escaped the elements. Under the snow. Probably, visiting food caches,
stoking interior fires. Pond: artistic deer took the night off—no new
tracks. Old tracks, rimmed in ice, widened, deepened. Resemble a bouncing
ball more than a wandering deer.

Very high, a raven strokes the sky, slow, leisurely flaps. Headed south,
bird on a mission. Unleashes a volley of off-key croaks. Lonesome nuthatch
repetitive tooting, winter analog to red-eyed vireo. Chickadees and
titmice, an integrated party of eight, in the alders, the pines, back and
forth across the road, from neighbor to neighbor, ambassadors to the local
sunflower food shelves. A morning in suspension . . . everywhere.
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