Kickass, the doorstop dog, listens to the keeper today: The wild and wonderful yodels of sandhill cranes tumbled down out of a seemingly empty sun-filled sky. But then there they were–in formations so high as to dissolve against the firmament like invisible spiritual escorts of spring.
Once many years ago, in the company of a once-in-a-lifetime mentor/friend who loved to laugh at the foibles of our species, we interrupted our grouse hunting to watch as flock after flock of sandhills caught late morning thermals and circled almost out of sight before sailing off to southern wintering areas. It was an awesome thing to witness.
That old friend has been gone for many autumns, but he and his laughter came back a little today with the spring cranes. It was a wonderful thing to hear.