Tuesday, April 7, 2015

On Easter Sunday, Wilbo Studies Two Sandhill Cranes North of Cadillac @PureMichigan and Goes Searching for More.

Among resurrection stories, the return of the Sandhill Cranes gladdens
many. Question is this. This looks like a mating couple off to feed
together, finding a likely wet depression a neighboring farmer has yet
to drain, prime feeding conditions for Sandhills. Where lies the
wetland where all the Sandhill couples, families, gather before
sundown. The location must be near here, also marshy ground with open,
temporary water. One of these gathering places at a state park in
Pulaski County has stadium seating and scores of people show up at
sundown to watch as many as fourth thousand Sandhills land. I wonder
if Cadillac knows it has a tourist attraction to cultivate? A Sandhill
as it lands suggests Harry Potter riding a broom in a game of
Quidditch. Children are astounded.

Recent construction, resurfacing, on this road between Cadillac and
Manton protected the depression from erosion and silt that could fill
it in. The black tarp wall remains in place. In a nearby hollow, a
flock of Canadian Geese abide, another great bird that was almost
extinguished during the mid-Twentieth century, another resurrection
story for Easter. In many parts of the country, in particular Indiana
if you believe it, farmers are being paid to allow these small
wetlands flourish and sustain migratory birds. I'm pretty
sureCatherine McClung would have been able to get closer to the
sandies, but she's got that avian sixth sense. I got as close as I
could before the male started honking and strutting. If the pair
actually flew off, I would tease myself, "Bad Naturalist! Bad
Naturalist!" Don't believe I've ever seen her illustrations of

I positioned my car on a gateway to the field, off a side road, and
the sandies strutted by my car as the pair drilled and tugged at the
grassy earth with their long beaks. Saw earth particles falling from
their beaks as each masticated a morsel. The two made a spiral pattern
around the grassy corner of the field. Pointing eastward, the two
trumpeted in unison towards the pine covered ridge. Two trumpets
answered their call. As I glanced away to see geese chasing one
another on the open water, wings flapping for show and not flight, the
Sandhills flew off, I know not where.

— at Wexford Civic Center.

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