Saturday, March 06, 2010
They're back -- yesterday I saw my first Sandhill Crane of the season in Madison
Spring is on its way -- the cranes are coming back! I was walking on the UW-Madison's path along the Lake Mendota shoreline near Picnic Point when I sensed something large moving slowly in the University Bay marsh. Two somethings, actually. A pair of cranes were picking their way gingerly through the reeds. They were almost invisible against the brush surrounding them. Their bearing was both awkward and regal, and they walked in absolute silence. I wondered if they were my bad weather buddies from Lake Wingra last fall.
I took a few photos, but it was hopeless. Close as I was, their images just blended into the background. Suddenly, with the beating of powerful wings, they took off. I pulled the camera back up to my eye and started shooting. The first few frames were obscured, and their flight path soon disappeared behind some trees. In between, I got one clear shot at the second crane.
A bit closer to life size.