Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The long way home - Sandhill Crane

"There is no place to where I fly to. Untamed heart is my final destiny".

Sandhill Cranes flying near dusk, no where, USA
Click image to enlarge 

I took the first shot when I was on a long road trip, starving, kind of lost, and freezing cold... I heard cranes calling (Click link to hear their calls) and decided to pull over in the middle of no where.  When I shut off my car engine and grabbed my camera, it was about 8 pm, I witnessed a flock of Sandhills start descending in front of my lens. Even with my camera's aperture wild open, I found this less than ideal, underexposed photo interesting. I did not like the wire in the background as much at the first. But when I take a look this photo after many many days later, a sense of serenity created by the blue hue tells a story of a flock of weary cranes will finally take the long way home. Birds strive to survive with or without human's interference or disturbance. Sandhills breed in the north and migrate to the southern region, mainly to Texas, New Mexico and Florida in winter. A spectacular flock of over 10,000 birds congregate at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife  Refuge  , New Mexico from November through March next year. According to the fossil record, Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadesis) has the longest fossil histories among all birds that have been discovered today, that was back to about 10,000,000 years ago! Wow, just knowing how ancient these birds are really makes me wondering they must "learn" and "know" a lot more than us:)

Central Florida, USA. Click image to enlarge

There are two special people I'd like to thank to for this portrait shot. The first person is my mother. Mom spotted a family of three cranes during our summer trip to central Florida. I tried to pay attention to any thing "flying" during driving but I can only "scout" so much. That proves to you that, mom was not bore with her bird nerd daughter :) She sat in her wheelchair comfortably and enjoyed her breakfast while I was gone chasing these carnes. The second person I'd like to pay my gratitude is a friend from Down Under. When I told a photography friend of mine, this photo was mom's favorite shot from our four-day trip but I was frustrated with my poor photo editing skill. This friend indefatigably helped me to "transform" a mediocre image into a lovely, print ready photograph so Mom can take this print flying 9,000 miles home with her. Thanks TA ;)

-- Happy Birding! -- Linda

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