Photograph of cranes in a field near the Open Space Cultural Center in Albuquerque NM.


Autumn Flight


Monday, I walked out of the house heading for the car in the driveway when I heard the cranes. Sandhill cranes donít fly over Tijeras. At first I couldnít believe my ears but there they were, overhead, a long ragged line of cranes. Sixty to a hundred maybe. I ran back in the house shouting for Jim to come see.


        They were still visible, circling back towards us. Circling and rising, calling, circling and rising. On the dark side of the circle they blended with the sky, but as they came around, the sun struck their bodies with silver Ė white flashes of light. Finally, very high up now, they moved off to the north, migrating, and we could no longer see or hear them.


        Ferocious winds were predicted to be blowing in today from the west. Flying east of the Sandia Mountains should give the cranes protection and a jump on the storm but storms donít usually send them this way. Mysterious, beautiful birds, I wish I could understand their language. Seeing and hearing them right over our house was a gift.




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