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Friday, October 9, 2009

Sandhill crane in tow


Our two favorite sandhill cranes gave birth in early summer to a fluffy yellow chick (at least one survived). Several weeks later, they introduced her to the neighbor-
hood, strutting proudly across the golf course with their wobbly chick sandwiched between them.

My husband and I went outside to get a closer look, but as we drew near, the male’s wings flew up, a warning to keep our distance. BB (before birth), we had often approached the pair almost close enough for hand feeding. Now their parenting instincts kept us at bay.

The wind gusted; stirring the loose leaves in swirling eddies. The male, already on edge, flew up and away a few yards and proceeded to check out the perimeter to be sure it was safe for his mate and chick. The stragglers, indifferent to the actions of father and mate, continued their slow and steady pace across the green.

When the chick caught sight of her father, she began to run; a zigzag path that threatened to topple her. As if on cue, her wings flew out for balance, and she continued her drunken lope across the grass.

Proud regal birds are the sandhill cranes, and wonderful to paint; to capture the bright red crown, the variegated feathers, changing from gray to gold to violet in the sunlight and with the passing of years.

Painting (mixed media) oil on acrylic; status -- sold; looks wonderful matted, under glass, and framed in gold.