New snow on top of old snow hides treacherous ice. Will winter never end? Is it colder this year or am I older this year? Heaven forbid my cold bones are age-related!
Footloose friends who are “On the Road Again,” just posted a blog at: http://www.poolsmally.wordpress.com. They were visiting the Sandhill cranes in Mississippi. Which gave me pause: If they can haul an Airstream from Hartford Connecticut to Mississippi, why can’t I find the time to drive to Alamosa, Colorado a mere two and a half hour west? (See me shaking my head in disbelief.)
Spurred on by my very own question, I looked up Monte Vista’s annual crane festival. So close… at the Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge, but apparently, so far. The three-day festival is this coming weekend, Friday through Sunday, March 8-10. The weekend is jam-packed with music, craft shows, historical displays and (for all the craft beer lovers) an opportunity to visit the Colorado Farm Brewery where the growing, brewing, malting and tasting are all on-site.
The featured attraction is the cranes who will take a rest stop as they pause close to the road where swaths of mown barley invite the birds to linger for those with cameras. The 14,800-acre wetland acres draw up to 25,000 cranes. If you can’t make this weekend (or you want to avoid all the hub-bub) cranes will be stopping by throughout March. You can learn more at http://www.cranefest.com.
I’ve seen Frigate birds the Red-footed Boobies dance in the Galapagos, (see Timeout, May 17 2013) but closer to home I want to see the cranes dance. I’m thinking that watching them will, as the poster promises, “reduce tension.”
Recently I wrote a poem in which I referenced the owls that perch in our trees during milder weather. The fourth stanza reads:
Hear the owls metronoming through the night. / ‘Who… whooo.’ He wants her. She is shy. / Come morning, he will win her over. / She will smile. He was the one she wanted. / Tell me, “That’s not poetry.”
Apparently, the female birds make two calls for every call the male makes. Yes, that has been my experience. The female takes the lead when it comes to getting on the dancefloor.
All this talk of migrating birds reminds me that I should re-read William Fiennes‘ book THE SNOW GEESE (not to be confused with THE SNOW GOOSE by Paul Gallico.) At 25 years of age, Fiennes is brought low by a series of hospitalizations and a lengthy recovery. Reading Gallico’s book, Fiennes is inspired to leave his home in England and follow the migrating geese.
Starting in Eagle Lake, Texas, Fiennes follows the geese north through Oklahoma, Winnipeg, Hudson Bay, to Baffin Island. THE SNOW GEESE is a memoir of a pilgrimage – an interior journey as well as a travelogue through the American landscape and the people he meets along the way. Is it a good book? Most certainly yes. As I riffle through the pages my old copy, there’s hardly a page that I haven’t underlined.
Gotta go. A cuppa tea and THE SNOW GEESE await.