Saturday, September 12, 2009

My Apologies

Dear Readers,

My apologies. Besides my last two posts mysteriously disappearing a few moments ago, my personal computer hell is escalating. I'm utterly fit to be tied. But as Scarlett O'Hara so aptly said, "Tomorrow is another day." And tomorrow the machine will be going to the shop if it doesn't have a miraculous recovery which I dare say is completely unlikely.

Donegal Browne

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Sandhill Cranes Make Another Break For It.

If the male had not moved into the sun and if it had not saturated his breast, turning it gold. I would likely not have seen them, they were so far away. But he did and therefore I did.

If you remember, not long ago I accidentally flushed them from their gleaning in the oat field, startling both them and me.

Yesterday, Gaylord Hooker, a member of the club, who lives down the road from Thresherman's Park showed me that if approached in a certain way, this family of Sandhill Cranes, who have been appearing at about 6:30pm in this field daily-A male, female, and an immature from this year, could be watched from about 40 feet away.

It's not that they don't notice, because they do. It is just that they are somewhat more habituated to humans than your regular Sandhill moving toward migration from Wisconsin.

That's Dad on the right, Junior on the left and Mom eating just beyond Junior.

Eventually all three sets of eyes are focused on me. Then I take my eyes off them...

And whoosh, they're off the ground. Once again heading to the north and the same copse of trees as they did on the earlier occasion.

The bonded pair, the two in front, begins to synchronize their positioning and wing beats.
A large part of Sandhill Crane courtship, is a form of synchronized movement. Their bond strengthens as they become more attuned to each other's movements until eventually one can't tell who started a "dance" move and who followed. This can include very active movement which can stop dead in an identically timed freeze.

Ah, there Junior has gotten into rhythm.
But he is unable to maintain it and still get enough lift to avoid lagging further behind.

Donegal Browne