Everywhere my husband and I have lived, there have been Sandhill Cranes. We saw them in Montana, in southern Arizona, and in huge numbers while in Colorado, at the annual Monte Vista Crane Festival. I had the great fun of working at and speaking at this festival several years in a row while I was with the Colorado Division of Wildlife (now Colorado Parks and Wildlife). The festival almost always fell on my birthday, which was a great way to celebrate. (There’s also a huge crane festival in Nebraska every year. If you ever get the opportunity to attend one of these festivals – do go!)
If you’ve ever heard a sandhill, you know them forever after when you hear them again. They have this very distinctive trilling call that can be heard even when they are flying overhead at such a height that you can barely see them. They have become somewhat of a touchstone species for my husband and I.
Sandhills migrate from their overwintering range in the southern United States and Mexico to their breeding grounds, sometimes as far north as Alaska, and back again every year. Last fall, I heard a group fly over (I never did see them), and said to the sky, “safe travels, my friends”. I’ve heard them a couple of times in the last few days, as the flocks migrate north. Some may even be the ones I saw in Monte Vista. I like to think so. This afternoon, a large flock flew overhead in several large “V”s. It’s always good to see my friends again, even if my camera was having a hard time focusing.
Meanwhile, things are blooming and sprouting all over.
Poor Gracie Mae. The hormones have hit. She SO SO wants to make a nest and sit on it. But the places she picks don’t work. The dogs or some other predator finds the nest and eggs. There’s not enough cover. Her girlfriend Peggy Sue took over the duck’s nesting area, and is sitting on some turkey eggs and a lot of duck eggs that I slipped under her. I put a dog kennel with a bunch of straw in there next to her for Gracie, but she’ll have none of it. She flew over the property fence and went on walk about for 2 days. We thought we’d lost her. Poor girl.
Miles Away Farm Blog © 2013, where we’re miles away from being frost free yet, but more days than not, its above 40 degrees at night and the baby ducks are growing like, well, grass.