Today I am participating in Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe~Thursday. This Thursday is about the letter "C".
Sandhill cranes are such a lovely creatures. I think one of the things that make them so beautiful to me is that they mate for life. They come to our yard as a family to forage in our grass and they take turns feeding their young, called colts. Their colts learn to fly by dancing and running along side their parents. It is so funny to watch, and momma is never too far away.
Sandhill cranes make the loudest trill I have heard coming from a bird. They walk through our neighborhood and actually stop traffic. One time my husband and I were were driving south and came upon a bunch if police cars blocking one lane of the boulevard. Someone had hit a baby colt with their car and the momma and daddy Sandhill cranes were standing over it making the most mournful screech I have ever heard. It was so sad. My husband and I couldn't bare to look at such a sorrowful scene, so we just cried in silence. We do that a lot now. Especially where animals are concerned. These birds are highly revered and protected so much that killing one can cause a public outrage. Whether or not it was done on purpose or by accident. And it always makes the paper, as though one were writing out an obituary.
The view from our porch is very entertaining at times, all hours of the day and night. Sometimes it's yellow finches and red Cardinals fighting for the special food I put in the bird feeder. Such a pretty sight. And sometimes a big beautiful Osprey or Hawk will stop by and sit on a branch in the tree, eyeballing the ground for something interesting to eat. Lately it's been a couple of turtles sunning on the bank of the little pond.
In the evening before the sun goes down, a family of racoon's might truck on by. The little ones stopping to investigate and play. One night I saw a shadowy figure in the yard. I flipped on the light to investigate and saw the ugliest Opossum I've ever seen. And of course there are the occasional Armadillos too. Pesky little buggers they are, digging burrows in my flower garden. Why they can ruin a foundation or an in ground pool if not taken care of. Between us, and our neighbors on either side, we paid $300.00 to have one caught, removed and released back in the wild somewhere else. He was a sneaky little bugger. It took three weeks to catch him.
Sometimes it's not only difficult to catch pesky critters, but dangerous too. I once saw an alligator thrashing about in the pond and warned my neighbor to keep her little white fluffy Bichon Frise dogs inside. Gators love little dogs. The Wildlife Officer and Game Trapper took out a 6'2 inch gator that day. And wouldn't you know, we've had the occasional snake or two as well. Yuck! I usually let the good ones keep on slithering by. But it's the bad one's that give me the heebie jeebies!
I'm sitting here on my porch this morning. The weather is lovely, my chimes are tinkling in the wind, and I am enjoying my morning coffee with a piping hot bowl of oatmeal made from steel cut oats, topped with brown sugar, butter and raisins. Yum! I love sitting out here. We haven't been able to use our porch the entire summer as it has been too hot and humid.
So, here I sit, unocular and camera by my side. Anxious to seize the moment. There's always Heron's, Egrets, Falcon's, Ibises, Storks and Cranes to be seen. This morning my visitor was a beautiful Great White Egret. They are so funny to watch. They stand perfectly still while stalking their prey, and wobble and sway when they mosey away. Like an old drunk. I can't ever imagine these beautiful birds being killed, so that their plumage could be used to decorate hats. I would rather appreciate their beauty from a distance in the wild, than from on top of someone's head.