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Monday, October 19, 2015

Saturday: A Day of Wildlife

Shyla and I got out early on Saturday morning, with our paws crossed that it would be a good day.
There were still a few spots with golden leaves, and we played in them in the light of the sunrise.

Then, I went out to ride by myself. I passed an old mining building that I've seen thousands of times. On this day, the golden leaves looked spectacular next to the weathered wood of the building.

My goal for my solo ride as to check a couple of trail cameras. I was rewarded richly! I think this is the mother mountain lion we've been seeing a lot. She was out at 4 PM, letting us get a full color view of her!
She's so muscular and yet seems so cautious. I bet that she was listening very carefully for anyone coming her way.

Shortly later, she passed the camera where we saw her kittens a couple of months ago. I suspect she has them in a den near this camera.
She paused briefly to sniff the base of the bear marking tree that the trail camera is pointed at. Then, she was on her way.

It turned out that the mountain lion photos were not the only amazing wildlife part of the day. Every year, Sandhill Cranes migrate south. In recent years, some of them have started coming almost directly over our house. On Saturday, we were given the gift of four big flocks of Cranes flying over our heads as we sat on the deck.

The first sign that a flock was heading toward us was the sound. I found that the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a great recording of what a large flock sounds like. And, they really were as loud as the recording.

We think there is a thermal that the Sandhill Cranes circled within to gain altitude almost directly over our heads. Here they were circling:
On one occasion, they circled for a couple of minutes, continuing to make their loud sounds as they circled. It was hard to imagine how they avoided crashing into each other because they were so close together.

Then, somehow, they started to organize themselves into V's to continue on their southerly course. I counted 136 Cranes in this photo, and I couldn't fit all the birds into my camera frame.
After getting organized, one of the big V's looked like this.
Then, multiple V's, all flying in parallel, departed from our view.

It was amazing to see Sandhill Cranes. I hope that they come over our house again next year!!!


  1. Hi, I was on the way to our mailbox when my neighbor said, do you hear the sound of the Sandhill Crane's-we couldn't see them but their sound was so different. Thank you for the close up shot. Hope you are doing better today.
    Hugs, Noreen

  2. Love the cranes, and that lion is stunning!

  3. Incredible! How lucky you were to see the mountain lion and all those sandhill cranes! What a magical day!

  4. Wow, those sandhill cranes are amazing - it must have been so interesting to watch them circling and then forming the V. We love seeing all that you see in your wonderful part of our country.

  5. I didn't know cranes flew in those patterns. Amazing!

  6. Amazing pictures. I has never seen pictures of cranes flying like that

  7. We loved seeing the Sandhill Cranes when we lived in WI. Glad you had a good day.

  8. I enjoy all your photos but I have to confess my favorite are of Shyla and R.

    Aroo to you,

  9. Those cranes are amazing! In the last photo they look like flags or laundry on lines...

  10. It's amazing to see how wellorganized that berds can be... I mean we humans create a chaos when we have more than 3 cars at the same place... we could learn a lot from that cranes :o)

  11. Amazing the way the organize themselves! How lucky that you saw it - and had your camera :)

  12. Our mom has seen those sandhill cranes in Florida in gram's front yard. They are big birds! What a beautiful picture of you crossing your paws, Shyla!

  13. Oh Yeah! We know that sound well. How would you like to hear that right outside your bedroom window at 6 in the morning? We have a group of three who come to our house every single morning. Daddy feeds them pieces of bread which they love. They come right up and take it right out of his hand.

  14. Such beautiful photos! We are always amazed at everything you see and capture to share with us.

  15. Such beautiful photos! We are always amazed at everything you see and capture to share with us.

  16. These pictures always bring my mom such peace you are such a beautiful photographer. Thank you so much for such kind comments on our post. stella rose

  17. Sandhill crane photos are really something. I wish I'd been there to see them.

  18. WE never tire of seeing the big cats. the sandhill cranes are cool
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  19. Beautiful day! The barn is awesome.
    Lily & Edward


  20. Very cool picture - love the trees against the old barn, makes me miss being out west :-)

  21. So cool to see those cranes! And of course we love Shyla's crossed paws!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  22. Fantastic wildlife shots! My shoulder is still out of whack but I'm seeing a doc next week and hope to be able to have more computer time soon. I miss our blog friends!!


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