Saturday, March 6, 2010
Call of the Cranes
Some things just stick with you; you know what I mean. You remember years later when some small word or thought or sight jogs your memory. That's the way it is for the sandhill cranes for me. The first year Gary and I were married in 1985, I stood on the deck of our home located in a dense forest of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In the distance I heard a unique and plaintive call coming from a long way off. (Click on the link and then on sound to hear their call, perhaps you'll be mesmerized like I was so long ago).
I knew of sandhill cranes but had never heard or seen one. Somehow I immediately knew the sound I was hearing was the call of the cranes. I kept looking up into a small opening high in the sky waiting, and hoping I would see the cranes fly over head.
It seemed like such a long time that I waited for the sound to come closer and closer. I thought the chances were slim that the birds would fly overhead where I could get a glimpse of them. There was only a small opening in the forest created by the foot print of our house. All of a sudden high above me in the sky I saw the formation of the flock flying overhead. For just a few fleeting moments I saw the birds fly by and heard the call of the cranes on their way to their winter homes.
Yesterday Gary and I were driving through a residential neighborhood. Two large birds were walking on the front lawn of some one's house. At first I thought they were statues and then they moved. They were eating small insects I suppose in the lawn. I stopped the car and took a few photos. Several cars drove by and the cranes seemed oblivious and kept up with their quest for food. One bird kept a lookout while the other dug in the grass and then they reversed roles. I didn't hear their call but somehow I knew these two birds were sandhill cranes. Later we drove by a pasture and saw two more cranes. I came home and did a search on the Internet and found they were indeed sandhill cranes. Ain't life grand.