They said the crane was too sick to live!They insisted it would poke out my eye.
This was adult thinking at its worst! The kind of overly cautious bullshit thought that leads to really stupid decisions.
I hated them for using untrue accusations as a justification to steal the life away from something alive and beautiful.
The crane had become a friend I had made a connection with when our paths first crossed only an hour and a half earlier.As …
Gray (my Weimereiner dog and constant companion) and I were minding our own business, 100 yards south of Jerry’s Marina along the shoreline of Tawas Bay in northern Michigan where, fifteen minutes ago I had fallen off the dock into the oily marina water after riding too slow to keep my balance.
Still damp, I take one last look over at Jerry’s remembering my humiliation shrug it offand begin walking the lime rock road alongside a swale, toward the black top that will take me back to the cottage, while Gray sloshes around in a foot or so of water at the bottom of the swale trying to pick up the scent of some animal within the thick growth of cattails,when I hear Gray barking non-stop.
I walk a little further to where Gray is barking at a giant water crane standing in the shallow water at the bottom of the swale, its head above the cattails, where it was probably hunting for frogs when Gray made her discovery.
Gray continues to bark while circling the crane occasionally pausing to sniff or nip at its leg.
The crane looks unafraid, strangely motionless seemingly unaware of the dog’s barking or my presence.
I decide to take a closer look.
I slide down the embankment then creep through the cattails careful not to make sudden movements or splash water.
The crane slowly curls its long neck into a flattened S shape the back half resting along its spine its head and beak in profile.
Suddenly it occurs to me that if I take one more step the bird might fly away. I never thought I’d get a chance to be so close to such a beautiful bird. I want to soak in all the details of its beauty before it’s too late.
Feathers, Neck, Beak,
I admire the curve of its head, the tiny nostril holes on each side of its beak perhaps ten or twelve inches long.Red mini feathers dance in the wind on the crown of its head..
I see tiny scales covering its stick-like legs each smaller than a dime overlapping themselves like tiny shingles, smooth aerodynamic in design.
I look at the variations of gray coloring along the short hairs of its neck that gradually lengthen into 6 to 12 inch feathers covering its wings, so large that they stretch the length of its entire body from its breastbone to the end of its tail feathers. It’s feathers lie next to each other, slightly overlapped like a tightly louvered fan pointing downward while standing.