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VTBIRD  October 2020

VTBIRD October 2020

Subject:

October 10, 2020: Coyote Hollow, Thetford Center

From:

Ted Levin <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 10 Oct 2020 11:59:20 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (44 lines)

6:57 a.m. 48 degrees, wind SSE 7 mph, aspen crowns in perpetual motion, air
streaming through yellow-green rivers. Sky: wind-rinsed and refreshed,
waning half-moon, titled east, behind gauzy clouds on the move, a
peek-a-boo celestial body. The air smells of autumn, crisp as a Northern
Spy. A quiet morning. No sign of the red-shouldered hawk. Although the air
feels like a departure, dashing through the Hollow at a steady clip, the
direction says otherwise. A big, powerful flier, the hawk may have left
regardless, plowing wind like a Russian icebreaker. Permanent streams:
puddle prone, barely a pulse. Wetlands: without mist, an aerial hijacking;
deer and coyote paths through tan reeds, straight lines connecting critical
points, a lesson in three-dimensional geometry; no wasted energy (or time);
unlike my thoughts, which seem to roam everywhere and at will, *wandering*
not an option when resource-limited and hungry. Across the marsh, blue jay
antics in the spire of spruce, indefatigably calling to no one in
particular (as far as I can tell). Pond: shoreline attended by juncos;
surface attended by wind. I haven't heard the wren in a fortnight; the
catbird in a week.

Equinox in hand: captivated by big-toothed aspen leaf that floats down in
front of me, lands face-up on the brown road, palm-sized and seasonally
embroidered and embellished—yellow, gold, crimson, orange, three shades of
green, browning on the margins. In a futile attempt to preserve fall color,
I ironed leaves between wax paper pieces when I was in fifth grade. Some
leaves singed along the edge, began to smoke. Others faded or dried. Wax,
melted, hardened, cracked, escaped. Ironing board and floor a big mess. My
mother, a house wren of nerves, was not pleased.

On November 8, 1956, when I was in third grade, I wrote a
limited-edition book, *Why Leaves Change Color*, held together by brass
split-pins and illustrated with original crayon drawings, mostly goldfish
and flowers. In the short, hand-printed book, I spelled *vegetable *in
three different ways: *vegitable, vegatable, vegetible*. And shoehorned an
"n" into twigs (more than once), as in kinglets hover at the tips of
*twings. *I addressed apples and potatoes, flowers and groundwater, and
described the kitchen fishbowl at some length. Nowhere did I mention fall
foliage, which may be why I cannot stop writing about it now . . .


Last night, just after the Rays disposed of the Yankees in the fifth game
of the American League Division Series, coyotes made a mockery of the
night, high-pitched, drawn-out paeans that entered through an open bedroom
window. My dogs turned toward the source, ears up, tempted to answer; I
opened more windows more, adrift in the voices of neighbors I rarely see.

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