They were snowbirds before humans took over the term. They head south when the weather gets cold and don’t turn back until the frozen tundra has thawed. Who can blame them?
A friend mentioned it in passing…”You oughta go see the cranes,” she said.
“Sandhill cranes. They migrate through this time of year and gather near Bisbee, Arizona. At a place called Whitewater Draw.”
Done. We had a few days between campground reservations and needed a little break to regroup from a busy schedule.
A few days later we pulled into the wildlife refuge just before sunset. Even before we opened the truck doors, we could hear their racket. Cranes were landing after a day of feeding and settling in for the night.
We returned before sunrise another day and watched them take off in waves. There were thousands. Repeating an ancient ritual. Living life as if we weren’t there.
It’s good to see that we humans aren’t always at the center of things. There are rhythms in the world that are bigger than us. For a little while in that time and place, it was all for the birds.