Sunday, October 10, 2010

Crane Viewing

The final chapter of my birthday weekend started when we went to visit "GG" (Miles' great grandmother) who was visiting from Texas this past week. Then we were off on another outdoor adventure.We piled into the car and headed to the Baker Bird Sanctuary near Battle Creek. The man made lake that became the Michigan Audubon Society's first sanctuary has served as a stopping point for migrating sandhill cranes for generations. Also home to the annual CraneFest Celebration every October, the local Kiwanis Club opens their land for public viewing. We arrived in early evening and we were welcomed by flurry of avid birders armed with binoculars, telescopes, and lots of field guides!
The land was draped in signs of fall and the seedpods of every species were bursting forth to assure next years growth. I love milkweed in all seasons, especially because of their symbiotic relationship with the monarch butterfly, but they were especially beautiful in the setting sun as they spewed their furry seeds. Miles loved it when I pulled a handful and sprayed them in the gentle wind and they flew like snowflakes all around!

Michael carried Miles as we walked to the lookout point and waited for the unmistakable sounds of the cranes flying overhead.

As the sun set they arrived, a handful at first. Then a few more. Eventually they were like flapping threads of string connecting the water to the sky as more and more birds came in to roost for the night. What a sight! I will not soon forget the sounds of the birds calling and their silky wings flapping, or the wide open look of Miles' eyes. He was definitely in awe at these prehistoric creatures and it was a amazing to see him bird watching for the first time.

I love the beauty of fall in the "Mitten State" - captured perfectly by this fallen Sassafras leaf!
Miles would follow my finger and look to the crane filled skies and just giggle as they flew by.
Then, like with every good adventure, we ended with a meal! Love the bib over the fleece look!

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