Last late March, as a retirement gift to my friend Dan Holtz, I treated him to an unusual experience: we stayed for around fifteen hours in a blind along the Platte River to view the arrival and the departure of the Sandhill Cranes.
As the photographs show, we saw the cranes pretty much up close and personal.
The images do not indicate, however, that we spent one long and uncomfortable night listening to crane music, for the temperature dropped below freezing in the damp along the river.
But the morning exit of the cranes made the discomfort from the chill almost worth the price of admission.
I took pictures, and Dan helmed the movie camera. I made two short videos, attempting to capture the huge number of birds and the stunning sounds that filled the air.
Evening with the cranes:
I had wanted for years to watch the cranes departure, for they leave in huge numbers and pretty quickly:
In the morning, fortified by the car heater and a cup of good coffee, Dan and I visited Don Welch, one of the state's premier poets; Don passed away a couple months later, so I am glad we got to say hello.