Posts tagged ‘Sandhill Cranes’
Hard to believe it is December. Even harder to believe when the temperatures are in the 70’s (F).
Christmas decorations are on mailboxes, trees and houses as we pass by … in shorts and short sleeves.
The Sandhill Cranes have started to arrive on their annual migration. Many of them won’t even continue on to places further south; huge numbers are now wintering here at our nearby Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge.
It all feels strange. But I will enjoy the warm days on my bike, and on my back porch. Snow and cold feel like some kind of fantasy.
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!
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.
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 😉 )