I had a dear friend visiting from Lansing. She and her husband are thinking of moving to Traverse City, and she came up to scout out some neighborhoods. We headed out in the evening for our “drive-around.”
It was windy and blowing, bending the tall corn stalks horizontal. A marine alert came on our iPhones. We talked about whether we should head back but decided to continue on. Even though the skies were threatening, I wanted to show her the farm country where I photograph critters.
I pulled into my regular two-track, expecting to see my two Sandhill Cranes. And they were there, scurrying across the field in the wind.
Typically, I see them stop and peck for food when they’re out, but on this night they kept moving through the field of wildflowers. I wonder if they felt threatened by the storm too.
As they neared the hilltop, one crane slowed down and I got a nice close-up. Its tail feathers were ruffling in the stiff wind.
As they reached the hilltop, for some reason they relaxed and began their normal behavior, with one pecking for food while the other watched. I would’ve thought they’d be more anxious out in the open under threatening skies.
As we left the two-track, I caught sight of some cattle grazing on a far hillside above a tall cornfield. It made for a pretty scene.
We drove on and I almost drove by a field where four cranes were feeding, two adults and their two colts. It was a good lesson in the color differences between the young ones and their parents.
Not happy with our presence, the four cranes moved toward the far end of the field, an area that probably gave them a stronger sense of safety. I was delighted to see the first young ones of the season.
It was getting dark so we headed out of farm country but not before our last treat of the evening. A doe and her two fawns were feeding on a corner hillside. One fawn was smaller and was tucked behind her mother so we didn’t get a good view of it. It was still a fruitful evening of wildlife viewing.