Saturday, October 10, 2009

Shootin’ Sandhills

I did a little marathon driving last weekend. I left here on Saturday morning and drove to Gainesville to younger son D’s apartment. Older son, D, and his K met us there and after a nice breakfast at a little place called, The Jones, we headed south to Polk County to my parents’ and brother’s house. We got acquainted and reacquainted with some cousins from California and then all went to my sister and her husband’s house for dinner. Another cousin and a couple of other folks were there too. It was such a nice day. While we were visiting, a pair of sandhill cranes were foraging just out from the screen porch.


We don’t get sandhills in Tallahassee, so this was a treat.


They use that long, long bill to hammer into the ground to retrieve bugs, snails and worms.


They stick it all the way into the ground. They also sometimes use it to fling the grass clods. They had done quite a bit of lawn damage. Interestingly, they were not on the greens of the golf course. Too much fertilizer? or pesticide?


D caught this one as it sipped from the birdbath.


Their coloring is so striking.


We also saw the very rare (two-headed) pushme-pullyou crane:



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