Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

A little X-rated crane romance

26 Comments

Flying over the neighborhood.

Flying over the neighborhood.

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.

Waiting for the newborns.

Waiting for the newborns.

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.

Can you see him?  I know it's a him...you will too.

Can you see him? I know it’s a him…you will too.

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.

Got important things to do.

Got important things to do.

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.

Hey there good looking.

Hey there good looking.

He didn’t have to be invited twice.

Didn't even look to see if there were any cars coming.

Didn’t even look to see if there were any cars coming.

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.

Quick!  Someone's coming!

Quick! Someone’s coming!

And then it was done.

How about a date next Friday night?

How about a date next Friday night?

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.

Got anything good up there lady?

Got anything good up there lady?

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.

Care for a little snack?

Care for a little snack?

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 love you too sweetheart.

I love you too sweetheart.

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.

Snack time

Snack time

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Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

26 thoughts on “A little X-rated crane romance

  1. Have you been to this place? http://www.haehnlesanctuary.org/ It is west of Ann Arbor. If you go in the fall you might see a lone whooping crane coming in to roost with a huge flock of sandhills. It is quite a site.

    We have new sandhill chicks in Palm Beach County.

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  2. wow, Dawn, i loved these photos of the cranes. i didn’t know they nested in trees…
    your photos are great and the detail really shows up. thanks for enlightening me of their beauty. bess

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    • The blue herons nest in giant trees, in big nests made of sticks sort of like an eagle nest. The sandhill cranes nest in shallow wetlands, on nests made out of piled reeds. I’m sure I’ll have photos of those soon to share. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I think this might be rated R 😉 So cool though!

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  4. They sure don’t waste time, do they? A few years ago I got a series of photos of tree swallows doing the deed.

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  5. how cool to see all those nest – and yes – from what I read – they pair for life and use the same nest year after year

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  6. These are wonderful photos! I’ve loved Sandhill cranes ever since 1998 when a friend took me to the Haehnle Sanctuary to see the fall migration. What an excellent post. Once more fortune favors the prepared mind. Good job, Dawn – really good job!

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  7. Those birds are gorgeous. There is a tree nearby with great blue herons in it. They are so big too
    Lily & Edward

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    • The great blue herons are one of my favorite birds. We have a few in the ponds around here, and I think there is a tree rookery about 3 miles away. But this one is one I know about for sure and is easy to watch them, so that’s where I usually go. I should go exploring and find the one that is located nearer my home.

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  8. wow! what a cool experience!

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  9. Peeping?! I’m shocked! But happy for you, too. I’ve heard cranes up here but have not seen them yet, and we haven’t heard peepers yet (the frog kind), either. Did hear one bullfrog one day in one pond. Your cranes look very happy. Thank you for sharing them, Dawn.

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  10. Those cranes are really pretty. The blue herons here make so much noise. There are a whole bunch of them on the pond near the agility field. At night, I feel like Im in Jurassic park.The squawking noise is creepy. LOL

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    • Here it’s the cranes that make the most noise…almost constantly when they are flying, though I saw two this morning that flew right overhead while I was out front with Katie. They were more like cooing to each other. I guess love is in the air.

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  11. How cool is that! The only rookery I’ve ever seen is on Jekyll Island off the Georgia coast. It was so amazing to see nests the size of kiddie pools.

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    • I know! I was lucky enough to be down at this rookery one year just before the babies flew the coop. They were mostly standing on the edges of the nests…or adjoining branches. Everyone was oooohing and ahhhing when one would teeter. And the NOISE when an adult flew in with food! All those babies still wanted to be fed. And they were so strong by then they were literately pulling the parents into the nests by the beaks.

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  12. winter is almost done and is spring is near – spring arrives later this evening. As Louis Armstrong crooned…”And that’s why birds do it, Bees do it, Even educated fleas do it, Let’s do it, let’s fall in love….” spring is a time for love in the world of birds, bees, and fleas… procreation. I am going to get out and fall in love with spring. Have a great week.

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  13. Pingback: The Birds Are Coming, the Birds Are Coming! | Torch Lake Views

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