Early one morning not long ago, I was wandering at one of my favorite wildlife refuges. I heard distinctive cries in the sky, and my heart beat a little faster. I looked up and saw a flock of Sandhill cranes winging their way across the refuge. I was thrilled to see them.
Thousands of these birds appear at the refuge each fall, taking a break from their migration from Canada and Alaska on their way to California. Sandhill cranes are very beautiful and elegant, with their long legs, long necks, and distinctive coloring. They’re among the oldest living birds on the planet, with fossil records documenting more than 9 million years of history. Amazing.
A bit later on my walk I was very fortunate to spot three of the birds foraging not far from the trail. As I marveled at being near them, I had a thought.
I share something with these magnificent creatures. Like the Sandhill cranes, I too, seek respite at the wildlife refuge. For me, nature is a haven, a place for rest and rejuvenation to support and sustain me in my everyday life. And being with the animals, plants, and trees in the natural world enlivens and inspires me like nothing else.
As the cranes once again took flight, I smiled…so very grateful to share this place of refuge with such incredible beings.
(New photos on website Gallery: wandernature.com/new-photos)