Spring? No Bear, We Can’t Stop It

Big storm coming over the San Juans. The wind blows from the Southwest and the sky above those mountains looks airbrushed. Teddy and I take a short jaunt out to the golf course as I have plans this afternoon. Someone else has been skiing, the skater, but the tracks are fading to grass in many places and if we don’t get more snow it’s going to be curtains for that little paradise. It’ll still be a good place to walk the dogs, but the block-away skiing will be over.

Happened last year, too.

The cranes are returning to the San Luis Valley though I don’t think there is much open water yet. It’s nearing peak time for them. Facebook told me this morning in my memories that three years ago Bear and I saw them — and their tracks — on a walk. The tracks are as big as my hand. I’ve seen a few cranes grazing in a field on my drives to Alamosa for provisions.

I love the Sandhill Cranes. Last spring, the final crane experience Bear and I had was out in the Big Empty. A huge flock was grazing out of our sight behind a farm house. I caught sight of a redtail hawk flying in that direction, flying pretty low. It wasn’t long before I heard the chaos and the cranes took flight, heading away from the hawk and away from me. Among the crane’s major predators are large raptors, golden and bald eagles, but a hawk can do some damage, too. I haven’t heard any yet but I think that will happen soon. My house is under one of their “routes.”

Sandhill Cranes hanging out…

18 thoughts on “Spring? No Bear, We Can’t Stop It

  1. The cranes are wonderful — I remember a field by the freeway that was a stopping ground for geese on their migrations — twice a year it was tempting to simply pull over and watch them! Enjoy having them back soon!

  2. As much as winter has its charms, I am a creature of spring myself. Summer and fall in SoCal are (to me) heat and dryness and then even more dryness. Temps above 90 tell me “No long hikes today!” and triple digits shut down any kind of activity. I have to gain a lot of elevation for summer to be enjoyable.

    Were I to live in my native Michigan, I enjoyed late spring thru summer and into early fall. Everything from my birthday in late April until the end of Indian summer was grand! But, even as a Michigan native I never did well in the winter. The dark of the short days made my depression worse. Over 20 years, somehow I never managed to dress comfortably for subzero cold.

  3. I love watching – and hearing – the sandhill cranes on their migration. A few stick around here for the summer, their crackling calls a regular feature of the bird landscape. I had two grazing in my field last summer, driving my Aussie nuts as he watched from the yard fence.

    • Maybe those are “ours” — ours migrate to and from the area around Yellowstone/Snake River. I love them so much. It’s nice to have dinosaurs — cranes and turkeys.

  4. We are having unseasonably warm weather here – all the snow is gone. Of course I’m not counting out more snow… I’m surprised that hawks take on cranes. They seem so big! We have the occasional heron but they are a rare sighting which makes everyone very excited. If we saw that many cranes in one place people would have strokes!

    • I think a hawk would have to be very hungry to take on a crane, but I know they do make the cranes take defensive maneuvers so maybe the hawks succeed from time to time. I love to see a heron — pretty rare here as there are so many wetlands and hiding places. People come here from all over the world to see the cranes during the crane festival in March. It’s amazing. Most of the year my little town is a sleepy little country town, but that weekend it’s packed with people.

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