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 Florida Sandhill Cranes

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Betty Fasig
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Betty Fasig

Number of posts : 4334
Registration date : 2008-06-12
Age : 76
Location : Duette, Florida

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PostSubject: Florida Sandhill Cranes   Florida Sandhill Cranes EmptyThu Sep 29, 2011 5:10 pm

For the last eight years a sandhill crane couple have come here three or four times a day to feed out of the feeders that accomodate the doves, blue jays, cardinals, ringed neck pidgeons, an a multitude of black birds, red winged or just plain, any number of other birds that are going south or north.

For several years, one couple has brought their baby or babies here every day, once they were able to make the quarter mile journey. Last year they brought twins.

Now, we have two pairs that vie for rights on the feeders. They are very vocal about it, yet, they have settled it so that no two come at the same time. If one pair is coming, the other pair is going.

Our first pair, Sandy and Sandra of Wooffer story fame, come and go back to Lester's field where they have a roost and a place for a nest. Thay have done so for 6 years.

The new couple come from the orange grove across the road. I began to wonder if they are Sandy and Sandra's twins but I have no way of determining that.

Today, only one of the couple that live in the orange grove has come. It is not the right time for laying of eggs, but perhaps they are with child. I worry about the one who does not come to feed. I cannot tell them apart so I have high hopes that they are nesting.

In honor or the dear Sandhill Cranes, I post the story of Sandy and Sandra Crane. I hope it brings cheer to this message board.

Tomorrow is a new day.
SANDY AND SANDRA CRANE

Behind Pogo’s new house, behind the fence and a little way beyond, was a big vacant field that turned into a smooth, beautiful, shallow lake after a big rain. There were no trees but there was a lot of tall weeds, and plenty of water to wade in. There were also places of higher, drier, ground to make a nice, dry nest. It was the perfect place. Sandy and Sandra Crane had looked for just such a place, high and low, and over many, many miles, so that they might make a nest and raise a family.

When Sandy saw it, he said to Sandra, “Look down there! That looks perfect, don’t you think?”

Sandra thought that if Sandy thought so, it must be the best place in the world. She loved him very much. “I do believe you are right!” she said. “Let’s go down and have a look around!”

They circled twice, and landed ever so gently, right in the middle of the field. They walked around the whole field. It looked like a good place to raise the family. The water was good, and the food seemed to be everywhere, and there was enough space to see anyone coming. There was a lot of other birds around, which was always a good sign. They would stay the night and see what the other birds had to say in the morning. Meanwhile, there was dinner to eat and some sleep to be slept. First, to find some dinner.

Sandra Crane overheard the Jays telling about the Birds Restaurant. Her heart began to long to see this special place. She had never seen a bird restaurant in her life. Always, she and Sandy had scavenged for dinner, as all their Sandhill Crane relatives had before them. It sounded too good to be true. But, when the Robins and the Cardinals began describing what wonderful foods were on the menu, she knew that she and Sandy had to go that very night.

“We all get dressed up,” said Varla Cardinal, “and wash our beaks and feet and preen every feather.”

“Oh, yes!” interrupted one of the Robins, “It is different every night! Sometimes, a Parakeet sings to us while we dine, and sometimes the Cat does special tricks! But our favorite is when the little dog comes out and plays ‘chase’ with us. It is all very, very, exciting!”

Sandy said, “DOG! … CHASE?” This sounded very familiar. He and Sandra looked at each other — could it be? They knew a little dog that loved the game of Chase — but he was far away in the country.

That evening, Sandy and Sandra preened every feather and washed their beaks and feet. They looked very nice indeed. They met with the Jays and the Robins and Cardinals just outside the fence. Although the Cardinals were as red as red could be and the Jays were as blue and grey as Jays of the best quality could have been, the Robins were the best dressed there. How magnificent they were in their red chest feathers and the subdued hues of their wings! Every beak and foot gleamed in the evening sun! Every bird flew at once to the top of the fence. What a sight it was!

Some Yellow Warblers were already at the restaurant. They were just finishing the final course. “Great meal! Good night! Eat until your heart’s delight!” they sang as they flew off.

All the birds remained on the fence until one old grey squirrel came and announced, “The Robin Party will now be served!”

The Robins silently flew to their table and were served dishes of white grubs and a special desert of dried cherries. They all agreed that it was a delicious dinner, and each of their red breasts were expanded to a very round state before they gave the old squirrel the remaining cherries and flew off to rest for the night. Some had to walk all the way home; they were that full of cherries.

The Jays were called next. Holly berries, sunflower seeds, millet, grass seeds … what a smorgasbord! Such a chatter at dinner! Everyone had some news to tell and they were not satisfied until they told it! Of course, the ladies were all comparing each other’s feathers and talking about their children and grandchildren … such a good time they had! No bird can say as much as a Jay can in such a short time!

It was getting late, and when the Cardinals were called to dinner, they insisted that the Cranes join them. They were dinning on nuts and sunflower seeds, dried grapes and corn when a little black dog came running out, barking at the top of his voice! Sandra was taken aback! “Could it be who I think it is?” she said, with her mouth full of corn.

Sandy said, “It certainly looks like him! But I don’t think it is really him!”

When Pogo came running out of the house, the Cardinals all flew back to the fence. Sandy and Sandra stood still, and said, “Wooffer? Is that really you?”

Pogo stopped in his tracks! “Do you know my brother, Wooffer?” he asked in disbelief.

Sandy laughed. “You look so much like him, we thought you were Wooffer. He has told us all about you. You are the one who digs big, long tunnels! We are the Cranes, and it is very, very nice to meet Wooffer’s brother.” With that, Sandy stuck out his big, long leg and grabbed Pogo by the paw and shook it up and down. Pogo began to smile, and shake the long, skinny leg of Sandy the Crane.

It was not the last conversation that Pogo had with the Cranes. Every day, they met in the yard and talked of this and that and where the best place to raise a Crane family might be. They became very good friends and Pogo became good friends with all the birds that came to the Bird Restaurant. They learned to speak each others language and talked many long hours of things that were important to all the birds … and things that were important to Pogo. Pogo learned that birds know many things of far and wide and high and low, and the birds learned that not all dogs and cats are enemies, and they may be a big help in times of trouble. They knew Wooffer was one of a kind, but they found out that Pogo was one of a kind, too. No better friends could they have than Wooffer and Pogo.

Sandy and Sandra went back to Lester’s Field to raise their family. Pogo had said it was a safer place. But every year they go visit Pogo and eat at the Birds Restaurant. It is quite a nice place to eat.



Love,

Betty


Last edited by Betty Fasig on Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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alj
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Age : 75
Location : San Antonio

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PostSubject: Re: Florida Sandhill Cranes   Florida Sandhill Cranes EmptyThu Sep 29, 2011 5:45 pm

I love the story of Sandra Crane.

She reminds me of the roseate spoonbills we used to see on a little island that we would pass as we sailed onto Sabine Lake, when I was young and in love with the man I was soon to marry, and who fathered my three wonderful children.

Florida Sandhill Cranes Rosp_camel

We would begin our sailing trip ( one of the reasons I fell in love with him was that little 26' MORC, or Midget Ocean Racing Cruiser, a Pearson Ariel that we called The Escape), "under the bridge," which meant the Rainbow Bridge ( the tallest bridge in the south and a whole 'nother story)over the entrance to Sabine Lake at the mouth of the Neches River, the other river besides the Sabine which feeds into the lake where I was almost born.

That was when I first learned the story of these magnificent birds, which remind me of Sandra and her fellow cranes.
Quote :

but our only present breeding sites known for certain are an island in Sabine Lake and the Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge,

http://losbird.org/labirds/rosp.htm

Betty, I wish I could tell their story the way you tell the story of Sandra and her brothers and sisters.

Ann

( for readers who do not have access to our "Concepts" section):

Quote :
Autonomy


Before I was born my mother spent her weekends on the lake and after I was born we would still go there. The lake was heavy with salt from the Gulf like the womb I was born from and so it became like home and I felt safe there. My grandfather built wooden boats and one was the houseboat that we would take out to the lake where he would run it onto a sand bar, making a safe place for the little ones like me to swim. The older ones were braver and would water-ski behind the little tug made into a pleasure boat which always came onto the lake with us and my cousin would spin it around us as I watched from the shallow water safe in my father’s arms.

When I was at home there was an oak tree with shading branches that spread out and made a safe place for me and my dolls and I would play there for hours knowing nothing could harm me.

When I was three my grandfather sold the yard where he made wooden boats and with it the houseboat, and my older cousins grew up and went away to live their own lives. But often, still, we would spend weekends on the Gulf, and I would sit in the sand, letting my feet sink into the sand until I could no longer see them and then I would pull them up, and the holes the left in the sand would slowly fill with salt water. My father sold the house with the oak tree where I had played in the safe shade and we moved across the street to the house where my grandparents had lived before the ship yard was sold. There was no oak, but there was an old pecan tree in the back. My father hung a sack swing from the tree and I would watch my brother as he played at bulldogging the steer, grabbing the sack swing and digging his tennis shoes into the dirt underneath the tree.. There were always holes at the knees of his jeans and his dark hair hung in hanks
down over his eyes. I sat nearby on a pallet with my dolls, wearing white linen dresses that I was not to get dirty.

When I was six, my baby brother was born and when I first saw him he was all red and scrawny and I wouldn’t look at him because I had said prayers for a sister but all I got was this scrawny brother.

I was fourteen the year the storm came. It swirled into town with wind gusts up to ninety miles an hour, and my big brother and I stood on the porch of the house that still seemed like my grandparents’ house and watched as the storm whipped the limbs of the trees and especially the oak tree at the house across the street where my dolls and I had played in the quiet shade, only there was nothing quiet now as the increasing wind blew stronger and stronger always in the same direction until my brother silently pointed to the ground under the tree on the windward side where a bulge had started forming on the ground. As we watched the bulge grew higher and higher and fatter and fatter until the roots of the oak tree began to pop up from the ground, and my brother pointed to the tree itself and we could see that it was leaning away from the wind. It kept on leaning until its branches were touching the ground and they held it for a while, but soon they began to snap and as more and more of them snapped the tree sank slowly to the ground. By this time, the roots had completely come out of the ground on the other side of the tree and as they came up, they buckled a piece of the concrete sidewalk and a large slab of it was pushed erect and stood at the base of the fallen tree, looking like a giant tombstone. After the tree fell my brother and I left the porch to go back inside the house where the grown-ups were sitting around the kitchen tables where candles flickered in the darkened room. We listened with them to the reports coming from the small black radio, telling of tidal waves and death along the coast below us.

Later that summer my baby brother, then seven, grew sick and died and our lives were never much the same again. We sold the house that had been my grandparent’s house and built a new one with a few pine trees but no shady trees for playing safely under. We had been there a year when my remaining brother left for college. The day he left I walked with the family to his friend’s car as he packed and drove away. Once the car was out of sight I ran into the house and hid in the shower where the running water flowed onto my face and washed away the tears that tasted like the salt of the lake and the gulf and my mother’s womb.

Over the next few years life was dry and hot except for the weekends and summers when my brother would come home. Then we would take speed boats out to the lake where I was almost born and water ski. I pretended not to be afraid, and would hold on to the rope as the boat sped up, and let myself be pulled out of the safe water and slide on my skis across the top of the lake until I had sped along long enough not to seem so afraid. Then I would let go and sink back into the salt water of the lake.

My brother left to fly planes for the navy and I went to college after him. But the best time was the summers when we would come home and go back to the lake. One of the young men had a sailboat, which I liked more than the speed boats, partly because it had no skis. I learned from him how to trim the boat’s sails, and he said he liked the way I let my long hair blow in the wind, not trying to tame it down, and I loved the way, when he noticed that the boat was heeling more than felt comfortable for me, he would laugh and steer into the wind so that I would feel safe again, and always, we would find a safe place to anchor, and swim in the salty water for a while before we sailed back to land. When I was twenty-one, we married. Our third child was born while we were building the house. We had found the land, forested and wooded with one especially big oak tree, sprawling near the front, just back from the road. We cleared enough of the land to make way for the house, and we built the house to look like the land, so that once it was built, the land looked whole again. I had thought the tree would be a safe place for our children to play, but one morning, I woke and walked out to see the tree, laying in pieces on the ground, its branches still green, not knowing of their own death. The trunk of the tree had died already, though no one could tell until its rotten core gave way and exposed itself, dropping its green branches onto the ground with nothing to hold them up or give them life. My children slowly came out from the house and stood close to me, not understanding, not believing what had happened to their safe playing place, and I cried and the salty tears rolled down my face. I cried to see what the tree was really like and because I suddenly knew that it was what life was really like.

I took my children’s hands and held them, realizing that I was twenty-eight years old, and it was time for me to finally grow up.
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dkchristi
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Location : Florida

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PostSubject: Re: Florida Sandhill Cranes   Florida Sandhill Cranes EmptyThu Sep 29, 2011 7:31 pm

Nature can take us back to the reality that life has beauty - not just the mess we humans make of it.
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Abe F. March
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Location : Germany

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PostSubject: Re: Florida Sandhill Cranes   Florida Sandhill Cranes EmptyThu Sep 29, 2011 11:28 pm

Thanks for the story, Betty. It brightened my day.
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Betty Fasig
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Betty Fasig

Number of posts : 4334
Registration date : 2008-06-12
Age : 76
Location : Duette, Florida

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PostSubject: Re: Florida Sandhill Cranes   Florida Sandhill Cranes EmptySat Oct 01, 2011 4:23 pm

Dear Ann,

Twenty eight is too young to grow up. I see that it was not permanent and your young heart keeps on peeping out. I get a glimpse of it every time you write and everytime you post. How nice it is to keep your youth in that way.

The update is that the second crane couple have come back. It is a mystery about their absence.

I let my heart rest this night.



Love,

Betty
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Domenic Pappalardo
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PostSubject: Re: Florida Sandhill Cranes   Florida Sandhill Cranes EmptySun Oct 02, 2011 10:19 am

They are beautiful birds Betty. Artist in the late 1800’s, and early 1900’s painted them. I haven’t heard about the SANDRA Crane, Ann showed the picture of? What country is that from?

SUBFAMILY GRUINAE
- typical cranes



Genus
Grus



Common Crane, Grus grus, also known as the Eurasian Crane

Sandhill Crane, Grus canadensis

Whooping Crane, Grus americana

Sarus Crane, Grus antigone

Brolga, Grus rubicunda

Siberian Crane, Grus leucogeranus

White-naped Crane, Grus vipio

Hooded Crane, Grus monacha

Black-necked Crane, Grus nigricollis

Red-crowned Crane, Grus japonensis, also known as the Manchurian Crane and Japanese Crane

Genus
Anthropoides



Blue Crane, Anthropoides paradisea

Demoiselle Crane, Anthropoides virgo

Genus
Bugeranus

Wattled Crane,
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Shelagh
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Number of posts : 12588
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PostSubject: Re: Florida Sandhill Cranes   Florida Sandhill Cranes EmptySun Oct 02, 2011 10:31 am

The picture is of a spoonbill; Betty's story is about Sandra Crane. All Betty's animal characters have names.

_________________
Florida Sandhill Cranes 41ZdcL0lV7L._SL125_ Florida Sandhill Cranes 41C9GeFDNWL._SL125_ Florida Sandhill Cranes 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SL125_ Florida Sandhill Cranes 51eDGllZXhL._SL125_ Florida Sandhill Cranes 41y7VHKoszL._SL125_ Florida Sandhill Cranes 51Zs4N4T4eL._SL125_
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I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©Shelagh Watkins 2017
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Domenic Pappalardo
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PostSubject: Re: Florida Sandhill Cranes   Florida Sandhill Cranes EmptySun Oct 02, 2011 10:42 am

lol...I was at an auction in San Francisco two months ago. They had two Crain painting for sale. One went for $3,000, the other $130,000. I put Crain paintings on my, “Look for these list.” Sandra is a character name Betty gave the bird…lol.
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Betty Fasig
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Betty Fasig

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Age : 76
Location : Duette, Florida

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PostSubject: Re: Florida Sandhill Cranes   Florida Sandhill Cranes EmptySun Oct 02, 2011 2:58 pm

I have lived a long time. I have looked out these eyes onto the world and have seen how people treat each other, how mean they can be, how kind they can be.

In my looking out, I have never seen an animal be mean to another animal, only humans can be that way. That is because human beings can convolute (I hope that is a word), and distort to assuage their own ego... their own mind can back them up even though they are wrong. I suppose that is a little miracle.

Love,



Betty
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