It is that time of year. There is a nip in the air, not uncomfortable yet but pregnant with promise.
And this is such a classic crane picture!
a.) It’s heavily cropped to make the central images larger because Cranes are born in the egg with an instinctive knowledge of how far away from a conventional camera lens they need to stay to appear as anything more than a blip in the photo. (I assume this is a genetic trait they share with Great Blue Herons.)
b.) They are walking AWAY from the camera, so even the most determined photographer gets a shot not of cranes, but of crane butts.
c.) They appear so stately and regal–even Egyptian, as in ‘walk like an Egyptian’–it’s hard to remember the entire bird, feathers and all, weigh 12 pounds.
I spent a little over an hour chasing cranes this morning. This mostly involves driving around slowly with a 500mm camera lens in your lap, squinting one-eyed at recently harvested corn fields.
I saw–rough estimate–500 cranes today. All of them standing in the middle or on the far end of 80 to 180-acre fields. Thumbing their beaks.
It was more fun when I could see.
The only sandhill crane I have ever seen up close was in an enclosure at the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin. S/he turned around and walked away from me.
I drove all the way to Wisconsin to get snubbed.
(Actually I drove all the way to Wisconsin to accompany a friend through a post-surgical examination for breast cancer at the Mayo Clinic, but since we were in the state…)
I am less than fully loved today. I had an appointment with my cardiologist this morning to renew meds and check on my general progress and it was in Kalamazoo at 9:30 this morning. This meant I was not available to hold Pugsy during his morning nap.
Traditionally Nancy gets up, feeds the dogs, makes the coffee, and then I get up, have the coffee and join her for a review of the online news. During this time I am usually sitting still in her spare office chair, which is an excellent place for someone to hold and cuddle a recently-fed and sleepy dog. As a matter of fact, I usually get up to the subtle snuffling and bed-pawing of the same small dog who, on his busy morning rounds, checks on my availability for small dog holding.
This morning I went to the doctor instead.
Pugsy is almost as fond of change and turmoil as the cat. We cleaned the carpet–threw him and Daisy into a tailspin. We moved the couch–tailspin. Recently Nancy has begun taking Pugsy for short car rides, reasoning that he needs to learn how to ride in the car if only to survive trips to the vet. Tailspin. Daisy tailspins also because although although we don’t make her ride (she rides better than he does anyway) he has to leave the house to do it, which means they are SEPARATED.
She ignores him most of the day, but God forbid we take him out of the house.
And how do you know these dogs are really that anxious and upset, you might well ask?.
Because the one secret code we have yet to crack–indeed, we are suspicious there may not be a code–is “I need to go Outside”. We have a regular schedule for Going Outside, but being outside does not necessarily mean anyone is required to do anything but sit on the back stoop and wait for the door to re-open. I have threatened to pick each one of them up and squeeze them, but Nancy won’t let me.
So in answer to the question; disrupt the teenie weenie schedule in any way, shape or form, and the teenie weenies miss the pee pads. I doubt intent has much to do with it. Daisy tries. She’s old, arthritic, has bad knees, and on a good day she walks slightly sideways. She’s our age. We understand bladder control issues. As Nancy says, ‘she was meant to live here with us.’
I think Pugsy does have a code, but only Riley understands it. And Riley is…well…a dog.
I am being petitioned.
Riley wants to go out.
Or. Well. Someone does.