The wind rocks the car and I've ﬁnally given up and closed the window. Large, dried weeds are being tossed across the road.
The sky is completely overcast with angry shades of tumbling clumps of clouds. The light is strange — that odd coloring that things take on just before the storm. I look to the north, and just above the Grand Mesa is a region of greenish sky. My mind leaps back to my childhood on the prairie in eastern Colorado — that color meant hail!
This evening's 100 cranes are along Vela's shore and I'm parked along North Road. The birds are fretful and nervous. Seems to me that no creatures like a storm. A bright crack of lightning and the cranes give their alarm call. Some birds such as ravens and crows and even eagles like to play in the strong wind, but none seem to like lightning and thunder. I don't either.
Since there's no water in the ponds north of the causeway, the cranes will have to roost along the shores of the main reservoir. I pick one out ... the water's not deep enough. It looks like only three or four inches deep, and not sufﬁcient to deter a predator. But these birds have grown accustomed to poor conditions. One of them begins to forage in the shore-side mud. I hope he ﬁnds something to eat!
Another begins to preen, but most of them look nervously to the sky. One looks like a juvenile, ... the red crown is just beginning to show. It won't have a red crown until the end of its ﬁrst year.
Now there are real raindrops on the windshield. I think it's time to head for home. I start the car and turn on the heater. As I pull into our driveway, the rain comes down hard. As I close the garage door, another strike of lightning. It seems that the thunder rolls on forever. I can hear the alarm calls of my cranes at the reservoir. Into the house and just in time! Hail on the roof! I walk to the front window and the lawn is turning whitish. There are small layers of hail along the window ledge. It is good to be home!
I think of the cranes: I hope they can ﬁnd shelter ... but no. Shelter from the rain and hail would place them close to the shore, within reach of a predator. But I know that these cranes will endure.blog comments powered by Disqus