It’s exceedingly cold today, but I took this opportunity to give my car a short workout because this is the warmest it will be for a while. Eek!
It really wasn’t that bad out, but of course, I was inside my car, and even without a heating system I wasn’t too cold. Outside, there was a chill wind and a sparse bit of sleeting snow. Despite the weather, it was another example of a perfect small-town day. No matter where I went, I saw people I knew. We stopped to chat a few minutes, which was really nice, and then went on our way.
What interests me is how often I see people I know at the stores or wherever. I’ve lived in smaller places and larger places, and have gone years without ever seeing anyone I know unless I made a point of seeing them.
It wasn’t just the people I visited with that made this day special, but a field full of cranes.
I don’t like to drive just a few blocks. The engine doesn’t even heat up, and it doesn’t give the car much of a workout, so after my errands, I took a short drive down the highway, and I saw what looked like snowdrifts in a field. I didn’t think anyone around here had gotten more than a few flakes of snow, so I gave a second look, and realized the field, as far as I could see, was dotted with what I think are sandhill cranes, stopping to rest on their way to a more beneficial winter habitat.
Because I was on a narrow shoulder of the highway, I wasn’t able to get out of my car to take a photo, so I pulled over, rolled the window down, and took a picture with my phone. (I’d planned to get a birding camera when I moved here, but so far, haven’t done that. Knowing me, if I did see a bird I’d like a photo of, the camera would have been left at home, anyway.)
I sat and watched the birds for a while. Warmed by the sight, it suddenly didn’t feel so fiercely cold after all.
My novel of a quarantine predated this real life experience by a decade. You can read the first chapter online here: http://patbertram.com/A_Spark_of_Heavenly_Fire.html
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December 12, 2020 at 10:32 am
I think the sandhill crame speicies is brownish? I am very bad at birding in spite of the fact I started birdwatching in the late 70s. Usually it’s Duck or Not a Duck is as far as I get. But I love watching them anyway.
December 12, 2020 at 12:37 pm
You’re right — they are darker. Maybe these were geese? They didn’t sound like geese, but I know as much about birds as I do about gardening, which is almost nothing.
December 12, 2020 at 1:55 pm
Pat I feel it is gees. I send you a photo of male and female.
While during my walk every day I watch lots of birds. But I am not strong enough to identify easily like my late wife. She use to give foods (round boules) at home so she can see every day little birds at home.
It is always nice to watch beautiful birds watching every day.
Please note the female color with my photo.
It is similar to your photo.
December 12, 2020 at 2:12 pm
You’re right. According to the photo you sent, I think what I saw were geese. I’m just not used to seeing white geese.
December 20, 2020 at 11:50 am
That was a great shot of the cranes! Hope you are staying warm.
December 20, 2020 at 3:08 pm
Definitely staying warm! Being the only one with control over the thermostat, I get to turn it up as high as I want.