Sandhill Cranes

There they are: the first sandhill cranes I’ve heard this season. Their grekking, trekking cry suddenly falls on your ears from thin air, and you look up, seeking the source of the call. You see nothing but sky… and then! Their spiral turns under sun, from invisible silver they flow into a hundred shadows, sound made manifest.

I’m grateful for the first sandhill cranes this season ~ the first I’ve noticed anyway, they may have been flying over for days, but not while I was outside. This afternoon walking up the driveway I heard them, searched the sky ~ and found them, circling slowly, high. I’m grateful each migration season to recognize their unmistakeable ancient traveling call as they soar or circle overhead. One forgets. They pass through, fleeting, for a few weeks each spring and fall, then vanish to their breeding range north of here, or their winter refuge south, and one forgets. But then, out of the blue one afternoon, there it is, that sudden certain signal sound, of spring officially sprung. The sandhill cranes are back!

Years ago, closer. I anticipate many more opportunities to admire them this spring.
I’m grateful this week for little blue Iris reticulata, blooming as the snow melts.

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