Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Enter Sandhill Cranes, stage left

I was making breakfast this morning for guests and thought I heard something outside--it was the cranes! I heard their raspy clacking sound, something like a pepper grinder turning, and then I could see them below the B&B, rising up from a field. More and more of them started to come in, too. In a few days we'll have hundreds of sandhill cranes in the field. They'll hang out here for a couple of weeks. It's an amazing thing to go walking by the fields and watch them courting, doing the mating dance, feeding, males keeping watch over the females, etc. One of my favorite memories is being out early one morning when they were migrating through. It was chilly but the sun was warming the morning quickly. As the males raised their beaks straight up towards the sky to vocalize, the sounds came out with little puffs of steam above their mouths. That was so neat to see their breath like that, so close to them. I still haven't been able to get very good photos with my cheap digital camera--they always turn out looking like tan specs against a tan field of dead grasses. Maybe this year!
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