As I sit here at my computer, with Michael's book on the desk beside me, I remember the indescribable adventure when I purchased the book. My friend Inez and I were in the visitors' center at the Rowe Sanctuary on the Platte.
We had seen the incredible fly-out from the blind that morning and we were going to the evening blind. The Platte was even more than I could have imagined, and I recall thinking about Michael Forsberg and his pioneering photography.
His work has appeared in the National Geographic, National Wildlife, and Natural History. His "On Ancient Wings" covers a five-year personal journey connecting the lives of the cranes and their habitats across the continent from western Alaska to Cuba. His second book, "Great Plains — American's Lingering Wild" comes from 100,000 miles crisscrossing the Great Plains from Canada to Mexico.
Michaels' purpose? That his images will build appreciation and inspire conservation efforts on the land that will go far into the future.
I've attended a number of crane festivals, all exciting and all enlightening. Now I have another festival to attend — the Yampa Valley Festival in Steamboat. When I am "downhearted" I think of cranes and of all the marvelous places I have been in their pursuit — including our Eckert Crane Days and the time spent at Hart's Basin. What a splendid life!
I'm often asked, "What's so special about cranes? Why bother with them?"
Now from Michael's book I have a new response. "The grandpa looked down at his granddaughter, whose eyes were fixed on wonder in the sky ... and the two watched the birds — gray riders on southerly winds, spiraling out of sight, heading toward the rim of the world."
From "On Ancient Wings," page 107.blog comments powered by Disqus