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the cranes have arrived

 

#330daysofbiking Day 224

 

Over the past few days there has been too much wind, rain and stormy-ness in general to ride with my camera.  So, of course, today I probably over-did it (photo-wise — sorry).  But the sun was shining, there were some really nice puddles leftover from the storm, and best of all … the Sandhill Cranes have arrived!

 

Sandhill Cranes and dairy cows

 

I confess that I have a huge fascination with these birds.  We are fortunate to live along their migratory path and near one of their gathering spots along the Hiwassee River and Wildlife Refuge.  Each winter, they fly overhead by the tens of thousands, stopping to rest and feeding on leftover grains and corn in the winter fields.  There are days when I’ve watched and listened to them flying overhead, hundreds and hundreds of them for several hours at a time, sounding their unusual rattling trumpet-call.

 

Sandhill Crane: a rather poor crop ... I had no zoom lens along (#stupid)

Remarkably, they can live for up to 20 years.  They mate for life, and migrate south each winter with their offspring.  The are beautiful and impressive to see up-close as well as in the air – and to ride along on my bike with them, and pass them in the fields … it’s is a special experience for me that I can’t explain well.  They fascinate me.

Each season on a bike has it’s own rewards.  Today’s “Riding-With-Cranes” was definitely one of them.

(…. and the rest of the bike photos from the day 😉 )

 

old farm bridge

puddles ...

and ponds ...

and piles of leaves ...

and (of course) the requisite old-barn-with-bike 😉