Some Bad Days are Good

Yesterday I took Dusty T. and Polar Bear Yeti T. Dogs out to the slough for a walk. Walking is painful a lot of the time right now, not all the time, but a lot of the time. I’m allergic to aspirin and all its pals, so I’m kind of screwed in the “take an anti-inflammatory and shut up” category. Tylenol kind of works… ANY-hoo… Some days are better than others. I just figure we’ll go slow.

To my relief (and delight?) no one was there. Dusty “ran” FREEEEEEEE and I could lean on my trekking pole. Bear is learning to go slow and not to pull me. I realize if this is an injury I’m dealing with, she probably did it to me pulling suddenly on the leash. Still, I don’t blame her. She’s a dog.

We reached a bend in the trail and I stopped. Just then, six Sandhill cranes took flight about 100 yards away. I was thrilled. Then there were more. Through our little walk, I saw at least a dozen take flight and head south, too far away for us to have startled them, moved by some inscrutable Sandhill crane impulse to take flight. As they fly, they call out to the world and to each other, a joyous cacophony that makes my heart sing.

On our way home, I was watching a flock pass in front of my car, really pissing off the guy who was tailgating me. I pulled over, thinking, “Life is really fucking short, and sometimes it’s painful. Moments like this should be savored as long as possible. Where in hell do you need to go so badly that you have to tailgate me on a country road? What if you never see the cranes in flight again?”

If you have never heard them, I recommend going to this website where you can hear an excellent recording of most of their sounds. The sound that I’ve heard most often when they’re on the ground is strangely soothing.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology — All about Birds, Sandhill Crane

6 thoughts on “Some Bad Days are Good

  1. I also wonder why people on quiet local roads are in such a big hurry. Even if you have an appointment somewhere, no one around here is so tight for time that they don’t have the extra 10 minutes. That IS why we move to the country, isn’t it? I’m glad your cranes have come home.

  2. I have never seen a crane, let alone in flight. We only have storks here from the colony along the river. They sometimes perch on the roof to our block, which is not so good if you happen to be standing below. Otherwise their favourite places seem to be on lamp posts. I will have to see if we have cranes in Switzierland, but have never seen them. Might be too cold in Winter and I don’t know if they migrate or not.
    There is always someone that wants to overtake on the road, I cannot understand it. It is like a competition to see who can be there first.

      • We had storks in Israel that were supposed to migrate from Africa to Europe, but they often stayed and stopped migrating. They liked cleaning up the fields after harvests … and they REALLY loved the carp breeding pools on the kibbutzim. As far as they were concerned, that was dinner every night. The kibbutzniks were not nearly as thrilled as the storks.

        No cranes. I don’t think they live in that half of the world. However, from what I’ve read, storks and cranes are pretty closely related and can look quite a bit alike, depending on which one you’re looking at.

      • You got me curious, and I had to look it up. Maybe storks and cranes fill a similar ecological niche, but it seems they’re in different bird “orders.”

        “Among features observable in the field, storks tend to have heavier bills – some very thick and heavy, such as the marabou – and cranes all have thin, spear-like bills. Storks have no syrinx, thus no voice, while cranes are very vocal. Both cranes and storks fly with their necks outstretched, unlike similar-looking herons, which retract their necks in flight. (Storks are more nearly related to herons than cranes are.)”

        “Cranes live on all continents except Antarctica and South America.” (I didn’t know that 🙂 )

        And, as we know, Sandhill cranes are a VERY OLD species!!! 😀

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