Monday, September 24, 2012

Fall and Cranes

A pair of sand hill cranes next to the lake that I swam in  for my first biathlon: a mile in a triangular course. I got lost as I am blind without glasses and finished the swim dead last.

It was very hard to get close to this pair. You can't see their pretty red heads
There was frost here last night. We did take in some of the plants I want to keep over the winter but I don't look forward to going out to see my dying flowers. Yesterday was supposed to be dry and sunny but the weatherman was wrong.

My friend agreed in advance to go on our 25 mile bike ride yesterday. It was in the 40s when we left, misting, and windy. The sky kept switching from dark purple clouds that indicated a downpour and sunshine. The bright sun outlining the purple and blue clouds was beautiful. Pure autumn. Already, about 5% of the trees have changed color.

About a mile or two from our destination over the wind and road noise (wet dirt roads are NOT fun to ride on), we could hear strange bird sounds. We stopped to investigate. They seemed to be coming from a nearby woods. I assumed there was a turkey flock nearby (though the only time I see turkeys is winter and spring). The birds became silent and invisible as we went around the perimeter. We gave up and went back to our route. I did see a massive bird alight in a tree shortly there after. All I saw was the wing. Cranes have a 6.5 foot wingspan. The only bird with a larger wingspan is the whooping crane and we don't have them.
Once we got to our picnic spot, there was the pair of them. They were quiet as we tried to take their photo ( I messed up all my pix, I need lessons!) but later, they made their strange trilling sounds as someone else invaded their territory.

Every year in Waterloo State Park which is about 25 miles from me, thousands of these cranes roost along the lakes there in the evening. Roosting time seems to peak around Halloween. They give off such unearthly sounds. The sound carries for miles.

Although the sun came out for our little picnic, the dark clouds started rolling in again. We tried to beat the rain, made easier as now the wind was on our backs. Fortunately, it only drizzled a bit and our parkas  kept our trunks dry.

We had a visit from Ms. Maya yesterday as her parents had some alone time. Also a visit from Josh. I had lunch with him the day before as he thought aloud his options. Life is confusing for him right now.

After my long run today, I hope to finish my baby book. Over the weekend, I scanned about 150 photos. I had been fairly good about keeping photo albums until about 1985 or so and I did keep an album of Naomi in 1991, but all the other years, the pictures are in boxes and unsorted. What a mess! The clock is ticking. I have to get the order in Wednesday and tomorrow, another friend and I will do our annual art trip to Grand Rapids.

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