Chasing the Cranes
by Jim and Shirley White
My friend in Truckee, Tom, says the Sand Hill Cranes are back in Sierra Valley. Although it is still snowing lightly on Donner Summit, off we go. The last of the storm is just passing Castle Peak as we scoot over Donner.
It is the last day of business for our favorite breakfast place, the Sierraville Kitchen.
A motley crew of loggers, ranchers and other locals are having breakfast for the last time. It is a happy and a sad time for most. We say our goodbys and we are off to find the Cranes!
What we really want is a nesting Sand Hill Crane. We have never been able to get close enough in the past. The wily cranes always slip away before we can get near enough. But "Sharp Eyed Shirley" spots one right away. It is nesting right along the road!!! We cannot believe our eyes. The crane watches our every move. We shoot and move along. There are (maybe ) other birds to see.
In all we see 10 cranes, only the bird along the road close enough to shoot. But other life is kind.
A Lesser Yellowlegs poses and and looks friendly. A Rough-leg hawk soars over and lets us shoot, and all in all, another nice day in the Sierra.