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I’ll kick their furry little butts!

November 4, 2016


I was really talking about Sandhill Cranes and they have feathery butts not furry butts!  Two years ago there were huge groups of Sandhill Cranes at the end of our road.  Every time we went anywhere, there they were.  I started to go early and take time with my camera.  Sometimes my automatic focus would focus on the corn stubble and not the birds so it took a while to get some get some really great images.


Last year there were hardly any cranes.  There were 2 or 3 here and there but not the huge flocks.  This year we were gifted to see a young crane learning to walk and dance.  At first we thought the car in front of us had hit the poor baby.  We called the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo because we know there are coyotes around and an injured baby would be supper.  Both parents were there and we were told that the young are rather ungainly and awkward when they are learning.  Our farmer friend let us know the next day that all was well with mom and dad and 2 baby birds.  We got to see the whole family from time to time and the maturing of the babies.


This year again there weren’t many Sandhill Cranes to be seen at one time but there were 2 or 3 or so every so often.  I expected the huge flock might show up when the fields had been picked but saw nothing.  I would go early and take my camera and take time to watch the few cranes that were there.  As time went on I stopped carrying my camera and I didn’t go early.  I had some great photos of 2 and 3 at a time.  I thought the crane viewing was done for the year.  Then one day as I am running late, I come around the corner and on both sides of the road were huge groupings of cranes and as we went farther towards town there was another huge group.  I don’t know now many were there but I had no time to either go back for my camera or stay and get some great shots.


It was then that I said “I’ll kick their furry little butts if I come by tomorrow and they are all gone!”.  Sure enough they were not there the next day.   I wasn’t traveling anywhere but I had my camera and I went in search of flocks of cranes.  There was not a crane to be found anywhere – not even 2 or 3!  My son’d comment to my “kicking furry little butts” was that my husband should take a video and post it to YouTube as I tried to kick their furry little butts.  Cranes are very skittish and even just stopping the car will make them walk away fast from you if not fly away.  I was upset with myself that I hadn’t had time the one and only day the Sandhill Cranes had come and I had missed the flock photo opp.


I was down in the dumps for a while but a few days later, we came to the end of the road and there a group of Sandhill Cranes was in the field.  I had time this time to go back and get the camera and stay for a while.  For the next several days I went to the end of the road even if I wasn’t going anywhere.  At that point I began to get fussy about stopping.  How many photos of cranes does one really need in a year?


The cranes have now all gone for good as they prepare to head for their winter abodes.  I thought about my being upset and trying to “kick their furry little butts” and realized that the cranes weren’t the problem, I was.  My schedule and my expectations and my being in a hurry had been the issue.  The cranes were just being cranes.  It is fun when you see them over and over (I really don’t know if I saw the same cranes every day) but there are personalities.  Some are not as skittish and some that are more curious.  Some are kind of bossy and bullies and some are not.  Some ignore everything going on around them.


I don’t know what next year will bring but I am ready to expect the unexpected.  I will give myself time with the camera even if I don’t know anything will be waiting for me.  I promise I won’t threaten to kick their furry little butts next year or any year.  We often complain about people/things outside of ourselves when the issue and problem is really within us.  We project onto others that THEY are the problem in our lives when it really is an issue of our own making.  I know that I wasn’t mad at the cranes as much as mad at myself for not having the camera or time when the opportunity finally came.  I know it is better to look in the mirror rather that outwards at others when I feel upset.  I can find the answer and deal with it and change the situation when it comes from within rather than rage at that which is outside of me.


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