Cranes and Time

It’s not easy to record the flight of cranes in the sky with a phone. Until today, I haven’t had a lot of success, but….


There were thousands of cranes. Cranes on the ground eating and dancing, cranes in the air, doing what you see above. As Teddy and I were walking out, toward Bella, shadows of cranes passed over me and I thought, “Shadows of these birds have been passing over the earth for 350 million years.” I thought of my little life. Of the little lives of my cows that I’d just seen and talked to (I hold Teddy in my arms when we see the cows; he’s WAY too curious). The cranes had passed over the Clovis point people who once lived here. The cranes had passed over Lake Alamosa when it was above ground. The cranes had passed over the mammoths and the dinosaurs.


Then, as we had to drive the loop today, I saw an osprey on the highest point of a small cottonwood tree, the lone tree for miles. I stopped to watch him thinking about how lucky I am to walk in the shadows of Sandhill cranes with a sweet dog on a beautiful Indian summer day and spy an osprey. I thought about how I am really a single-issue voter and it’s never been abortion or racial problems or the economy or anything like that. I have always voted for this beautiful planet. As far as I can tell, nothing is more wonderful, more beautiful, or more important. Nothing and no one has ever loved me more. This is my home and home is where the heart is.

When I couldn’t imagine this afternoon could get more amazing, it did. Suddenly THOUSANDS of cranes who had been grazing on a pasture some distance away took flight and filled the sky with their darker forms.

Wow again. Our time on this planet is so brief, but afternoons like this? A little taste of the best of eternity.

24 thoughts on “Cranes and Time

  1. When my kids were toddlers, we hiked in Horicon Marsh, a stopover for migrating Canada geese. As we were leaving in the car at the north end of the marsh, a flock arrived from Canada for the night. I stopped the car and opened the sunroof. The sky disappeared, filled with countless geese. The sound was deafening. Only later did I think about the possibility of the car filling with goose poop. They all missed us.

    • I keep expecting to get some crane poop having endured a lot of random seagull poop in my life, but so far. I think the flight of geese is one of the most amazing things. I missed that in Southern California.

  2. How magnificent! The cranes really do talk to each other — and the stories they must be able to tell of the indigenous people, the lake, the mammoths and the dinosaurs would be wonderful to hear! I, too, believe that the planet is our most loving, valuable resource!

  3. The cranes are glorious (excellent video/sound – no wind noise 🙂). Do you see them year round? Or do they fly south. Nature and its birds precede us and will survive us. It is something to think about. Our little lives is right. Your song choice was great too.

    • These particular cranes go up to the Yellowstone and Snake River area in Wyoming/MT/Idaho. Some cranes go to Alaska and others fly all the way to Siberia. Thousands congregate in Nebraska twice a year. Some winter in Texas, some in Florida. “Mine” just go to New Mexico to the for the winter. They stay three months or so and come back in March. But…I’ve seen cranes in small numbers here most of the year.

      I am always fascinated by them, but this year they’ve been friends in a way.

  4. An already perfect day, Martha. I listened to that song recently and it reminded me of you. I actually remembered that you love it.

    I wish I could find that photo of the painting that my mother did of the dancing brolgas. You would love them.

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