When It Rains Cranes

Sandhill Crane rain

When it rains Sandhill Cranes, even thunderstorms take note.

Cranes On The Fly

Lord knows how long this migration party’s been going on.

Cranes Over The Platte

The Platte River itself is giddy over being the chosen haven for a spell.

Crane Hill

The lowly hills bow down to receive this ancient blessing.

Cranes in clouds

Even after the cranes call it a day, one is left with a sense of hope.

Twilight on The Platte River

The river silently agrees.

Sandhill Crane couplet

Roundabout February 14 to April 15


Photographs by Uncle Tree


59 thoughts on “When It Rains Cranes

  1. You sure don’t have to crane your neck to find a crane to photograph. Wow as to both posts and amazing to see all those Sandhill Cranes and the beautiful sky as a backdrop. We have Sandhill Cranes here in Michigan but nowhere near where I live. I have a Facebook friend who lives in the northern suburbs and she frequently posts pictures of a pair that come around her house – maybe at the bird feeder? This is quite incredible.

  2. Thank you bunches, Lloyd! 🙂 It is a super-cool event!
    Last year was my first experience. I should have gone long ago.
    It’s only about a 1.5 hour drive to Grand Island. Not too bad.
    We’re going again in 5 weeks. Stay tuned!

  3. Good time to go – my birthday weekend. 🙂 It is like when the swallows come to Capistrano or the monarch butterflies migrate from Mexico. Nature sure is wonderful isn’t it?

  4. Thanks for sharing, Linda! 🙂
    That was oddly cute and weirdly comical. I also learned something:
    Chickens aren’t scaredy-cats at all. “Yoga In The Roost” Om…Balk! Balk! AUM

  5. I am loading pictures and checking my “blog mail” as it takes a long time to load pics. I thought this was a cute blog and I also sent the link to TJ of “I Love To Go A’Gardening” who I’ve been following since you passed the post about the meteor sighting. She always talks about her chickens and ducks. I do get a kick out of this blog and it makes me want to live in a rural setting … I am envious of people who have the opportunity to get away from it all and enjoy living in the country. (Except if I saw a mouse, snake or a spider … then I’d be toast!) I learned that about chickens too – I thought they would be scared and fly the coop. I also didn’t know that rooster’s job was to protect the flock of chickens and herd them as well … 🙂

  6. Roosters have long been a symbol of virility and masculinity.
    But, herding? That’s a new one on me, too.

    St. Patrick’s Day is fast approaching, so I’ll be out promoting my epic leprechaun poem. I do want you to see it.

    Yes, I’m shameless 😉 but proud of this as a lucky rhyme master. Aaron Pocock, the artist who drew my caricature, continues to let me use a drawing he made with this poem in mind.


  7. That’s what I always thought about roosters as well, not that I have known any roosters personally.

    Kim, the post’s author, wrote me back regarding my comment that Stanley had nine lives, and said:
    “Oh gosh Linda – we call him Stanley Roo of Nine Lives – so many incidents he has lived through. You had to smile or laugh as I did after it was all said and done. I think many folks think of chickens as just being a chicken, when really if you treat them like living beings that deserve respect and love you will find they aren’t any different than any other pet. You give love you get it back, they are highly motivated by food but yes, I think there was a genuine concern for me. Or maybe it was a concern if there was something wrong with me – who was gonna feed them! All good here. xo kim

    I love that St. Paddy’s Day poem and just commented/complimented on it. You should be proud of it. That is very clever and full of imagination and creativity. I said in my comment that I like that it is a “poem” in the way that I have always understood a poem to be. I like lines that rhyme. Freestyle poetry is okay, but this poem excels and shows a lot of effort was put into it. Thank you for sharing it with me.

    I do like to share some of my past blog posts too, partly because I remember those that I had so much fun creating that particular post, or it was some photos that I really liked, or a post that was quite moving to me, like when Marge passed away, or when my little bird Buddy died and I wrote about his passing. I will give myself shameless promotion when I say that when I read those two posts I wrote, I am still moved to tears. A poem like yours is something that is meant to be enjoyed as much as you enjoyed creating it.

    I am sorry I took so long to get back with you. I was at my old computer uploading photos, then had a long narrative to write to accompany the photos, as you will see later. I had 102 pictures and knew many of them would not be usable, but had to winnow them down and match them to the writing. I enjoyed creating this “day-in-the-life” blog post. I have to say that the best things I have done for myself was starting a walking regimen, writing a blog, and taking the photos for that blog. They are amateurish compared to others, but I realize that the creative aspect of the blog gives me so much enjoyment … I want to kick myself for waiting so long to begin one.

  8. Wow! Seems like i’ve found another human who is as moved as I am by the Sandhills. As I noted in my own post, Uncle Tree, the biannual migrations of those incredible birds are both hopeful and spiritual for me.

  9. Yes, nativeson49, I’m really a human.
    Uncle Tree is Keith’s alter ego. We both were awed by the multitudes.

    Nice to meet you! 🙂 I hope to go see them again next month. Cheerz, UT

  10. Yes, Linda, I viewed and liked several of his this morning.
    He has more professional equipment than we, obviously. Really good pics.

    His site (theme) shows “similar posts” at the bottom. That’s how I got around to see a few.

  11. OK, great – I wasn’t sure if the other pics from previous posts show up since you weren’t following him. I know you like cranes so was hoping you could see them all in one fell swoop. He has some nice nature pics, mostly ducks and birds. Yes, he gets some nice close-ups.

  12. Returning to the topic of cranes … a photographer followed me a few weeks ago. I checked out his site and there are many bird images. A little hard to follow inside the site, even after translating the page, but some nice images nevertheless. Today’s blog post was about cranes returning to Pulken. I had to Google to find out where that is and it is in Sweden. While the photos show individual cranes, and not a swarm like yours did, they had 8,900 cranes in one day.

  13. Nice one, Linda. 🙂 Those cranes do seem to get around — and around this whole wide world — for a million years, and here we are — straining to put down roots, and fighting for a place to call our own.

    The cranes know Earth IS home.
    Me, too. UT told me so. He ought to know. Eh?

  14. I’m glad you liked it.

    I looked at your two posts to see if you mentioned how many cranes were there in one day – perhaps I missed the head count. Who does the head count? You said yours was a three-day event – do more arrive at the beginning, or at the end? Like running a race and the stragglers?

    It just amazes me to think of 8,900 cranes flying overhead in one day.

    The cranes are pretty amazing with their homing instinct and people use the term “bird brain”.

    The gnarly Uncle Tree has been around and seen a lot in his years.

    Enjoy your extended weekend no matter the weather; our rain has not stopped since early this morning. The Tiger home opener was cancelled by 9:00 a.m. The weather seems to be bad everywhere, you notice the crane photographer similarly mentioned bad weather. Someone ticked off Ma Nature.

  15. I’m sorry, Linda. If I made it sound like a 3-day event, I made a boo-boo.

    From Valentine’s Day to Tax Day is advertised. The highest “counts”, however they accomplish that, come at the end of March, but they say the rare and endangered white Whooping Cranes arrive after that, and hang thereabouts for a couple of weeks. As I’m going later in the season this year, I hope to see and capture them as well.

    Imagine a Crane Party along 75 miles of a sandy-beached shallow river. The reunion lasts for 8 weeks. Around 500,000 fly in and stay awhile to dance and whatnot. At any one place, at any one time, I have to guess one could see 10 to 20 thousand in the air and hereabouts.

    I probably should have provided some links with my post, but better late than never. Hearing them is half the fun, no kidding — a big choir!

    Mother Nature is waiting for March Madness to be over. 😉 Baseball weather will come in due time. Go K.C. Royals and St. Louis Cardinals! He-he…



  16. OK, perhaps I misunderstood and thought it was a three-day event since you mentioned that particular weekend, and I likened it to when the swallows come back to Capistrano. I visited that mission in Capistrano on a tour of California many years ago. The swallows stop there in October enroute to Argentina where they overwinter, then return on St. Joseph’s Day (March 19th) as a pit stop. I was always fascinated by the swallows story.

    I looked at the Wiki link and just took a peek at this video and would like to watch it in its entirety and will do so later today … I have some extra time today as my boss is on vacation, but I am online all day to monitor e-mail. Fascinating the first few minutes of that video – pink sky and the migrating birds. You are lucky to witness this.

    The weather is okay to walk this morning, and likely they will get their game in, which they are calling “Opening Day –
    Take 2” – I don’t know if they’ll win as they’ve traded most of the good players to rebuild and have a brand-new manager to boot, so for the first time in Opening Day history there were blocks of tickets (as many as twenty seats in a row) still available on Wednesday.

  17. That is good news for you Uncle Tree, and having accomplished that, your time will be your own now on this holy holiday weekend.

    I think you missed your calling to be a man of the cloth. You said you had the makings of an orator while still in school, your studied the Bible, you were and are well-versed in scripture.

    Thank you for sharing these three posts with me. I went to the Stations of the Cross, the Via Dolorosa, when I visited Israel as part of a tour back in 1981. We spent a week on a land tour in Greece, then a week on a Greek cruise ship which took us to various ports of call … a few Greek islands, Egypt, Turkey and Israel. You would be very disappointed, as was I, and all the members of my tour group, to find this street, which is understood to be that narrow path where Jesus walked on the way to his crucifixion, to be filled with many vendors, at each Station of the Cross, hawking wooden rosaries and postcards and other trinkets or souvenirs. Not at all what you would have expected on such a holy pathway. I was grateful for having traveled that route all the way to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It was incredible to know I had tread down that same path (notwithstanding the vendors who sought to make a profit). I searched for somewhere showing the actual trip of the Via Dolorosa and this is a good example if you’ve never seen it before. The person gives a step-by-step explanation of all the sights and is very comprehensive.


  18. “All are called, but few are chosen.” That’s my excuse, and I’m okay with that.

    How fortunate that you were able to take a trip across seas.
    I’ve never done anything remotely close, so if I’m looking green from envy, give thanks for Spring fever. I’m a miser when it comes to spending money on vacations. Shame on me, perhaps, but I am what I am, and I will be what I will be — a stick in the mud.

    Thank you for sharing that link. I took a nice long walk through his pictures and words. Very appropriate and timely. Much appreciated. I learned a thing or two, too. I’m afraid I wood be swayed to stay, if I strayed off the beaten path. There’d be no coming back.

  19. That’s fine, but you always have an option to use that knowledge some other way.

    I used to travel a lot when I was younger. I think I mentioned that my parents paid my college/university tuition and said they would do so if I lived at home, but would not pay for me to go away to school. I was fine with that as I got along with my parents and I was not anxious to leave the house for any freedom of being on my own, preferring instead to save my money and go on trips, as I had already traveled some in high school with my parents and friends of the family. I worked weekends, school holidays and used that money for gas, clothes, stuff done with friends and trips. And photography – it was expensive taking 35mm pics and developing them as you know. None of my friends wanted to travel, so I went on trips myself, usually one a year. I did this until my father left (early 1984), then I did not take any more trips after that. The house was paid for, but when my father took off (taking all the money out of the bank and their annuity fund), my mom was too young for social security and had medical problems so could not work, so I was out of school by then and until she could collect social security was the sole breadwinner in the house.

    I took some trips in the U.S. after 1983 but driving trips only with my mom. I don’t think you were a stick in the mud, probably just being cautious. I would never travel alone because even back then it was not safe. I’m not that adventurous. I did enjoy traveling, but quite honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever travel again (outside the U.S. anyway) … too dangerous now. Just my opinion. Right now I don’t even have a passport. I let it lapse after I didn’t travel anymore. I have no family in Canada now, but could not travel there anyway as I don’t have a valid passport which you need to cross the border (since 9/11).

    I looked around for a good link to show you. I liked that one because it showed historical buildings along the way, plus I liked the narrative. I read the whole story myself. The actual visit for me was nothing like I expected. I had not expected it to be commercialized the way it was. We toured the path in the afternoon and the vendors were out and about. You saw in this story the author went himself, early in the morning, no crowds. He mentions the souvenir bazaar and a pizza place along the way. At least he didn’t include the souvenir places here, just the historical part. I am glad you enjoyed it.

    I was typing this and at the very end, lost my internet. I was able to cut-and-paste what I wrote into a Word document and salvage it. I shut down and it came back – I think the wind may wreak havoc with the internet this afternoon … that I can deal with, as long as the power does not go out. If I don’t make a post, it is fine. My post is in my head and will share something a little freebie about the sun … an Easter treat without the calories.

  20. That’s too sad about your dad. Sorry to hear, but thank you for sharing a part of your bio.

    My dad was a smiling happy great guy. I used to call him every Sunday. Miss those talks, for sure. He passed very quickly in June of 2016.

    It took about 3 months to get our old home sold. Sine this was the first time I had to claim capital gains, I went to an accountant. He only charged $75, which is less than it would have costs using Block online. The tax on the gain was only around 3%, so I didn’t have to pay, and will actually get some of my withheld funds returned. That made my Good Friday, indeed. “Thank you, Daddy-o!”

    Morgan Freeman’s “GOD” series was on yesterday. They showed several episodes, and I watched them until basketball started.
    One show featured that walk of sorrow and tears, so I got to take the trip twice in one day.

    I look forward to seeing your latest post. The snow here has only just begun. Sigh…

  21. Oh that snow is a pain … we had flurries this morning but it didn’t amount to anything. Originally, they predicted an inch or snow of snow which you got instead of us.

    I’ve never done my taxes I am sorry to say … my parents used to take mine with theirs when I worked at the diner so I just continued going there – they charge too much, for what amounts to a 1/2 work, but I always worry since I am not a U.S citizen in case something goes wrong with it – so I want a professional doing it. Glad you did well – you can buy something nice for yourself.

    I heard something on the radio about a tour guide named “Digger Dan” … he is supposed to be an expert in tours in Israel and I want to Google around to read up on him – you may have a third trip to look at if I can find him.
    Will look later tonight when I return to do the post.

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