Sandhill Cranes in the Distance

Just got back from a walk with the dogs. This is the time of year when the Sandhill Cranes return from Montana and Canada and Alaska and head for their winter lodgings in New Mexico. Because the fall migration differs from the spring migration — which is all about “Let’s Get it On” — they don’t arrive in masses and hang out waiting for “the one.”

Last week on my walks I saw a solitary crane and then, a few days later, another. Now they are really heading down. I saw four heading toward me on the distant horizon and, doubtless reading my mind, they dropped down lower over my head so I could see them and hear their cries before they lifted high again heading for the refuge.

Then I looked again in the direction of the Sangre de Cristos, hoping to see more, and I saw the sky shimmer. It shimmered again and again, progressively nearer. There were a dozen cranes creating that magical effect in the still blue sky.

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