I wondered over the weekend how the heron rookery was doing down at Kensington Park. I figured heron couples should be shopping for their condo units about now, so I headed down there Monday morning. I was right. Looks like quite a few of the condo nests have been spoken for. There were a lot of herons coming and going, landing on nests, some being shooed off. There were lots of couples, too, standing together on their chosen new homes.
I wonder if the same herons come back year after year. And if so, do they chose the same nest each year? While I was watching all their activity I heard the sandhill cranes commence to squawking. I turned around and through a fringe of brush I saw one flying low straight toward me.
He pulled up and landed on the road, just on the other side of some redtwig dogwood shrubs, about 10 yards away from me. He looked right, left, at me, then left again. Then he began to walk quite aggressively down the road. He was in a hurry.
That’s when I noticed her. The other half of his pair. The girl of his dreams. The woman who had, until moments before been standing with him on the other side of the bay looking for lunch. She showed him a little wing. Such a flirt.
He didn’t have to be invited twice.
I was so surprised I just kept clicking with no consideration for their privacy. After all, if they cared about that they should have got a room.
And then it was done.
Instantly they were just another couple, walking together down the road. And miraculously right toward me! Right about then I registered that I’d been hearing soft grunting noises below me. I glanced down from my spot on the boardwalk. There was a Canadian goose wanting his share of attention. Probably begging for a treat, though I had nothing to give him, and the signs clearly say not to feed the wildlife.
So I turned my attention back to the cranes. Down the embankment they came, through the redtwig dogwoods, and into the lake, perhaps three feet from me and my camera.
They casually waded along in the shallow water, sipping a bit of water here, testing a bit of greenery there. Talking quietly between themselves. Unafraid of me and my clicking camera. Ignoring the world, lost in their love.
I have other things to show you from Monday’s walk in the woods, but they will have to wait for a future blog. But certainly spring is here, in the wetlands and hills and woods of Southern Michigan. And I think we all wish the happy couple the best in the coming months as they await their little one.