Stay tuned to our new posts and updates! Click to join us on WhatsApp L&C-Whatsapp & Telegram telegram Channel
L&C-Silhouette Subscribe
The L&C-Silhouette Basket
L&C-Silhouette Basket
A hand-picked basket of cherries from the world of most talked about books and popular posts on creative literature, reviews and interviews, movies and music, critiques and retrospectives ...
to enjoy, ponder, wonder & relish!
 
Support LnC-Silhouette. Great reading for everyone, supported by readers. SUPPORT

The Wings Of Spring

March 14, 2015 | By

To witness a timeless rite of spring. we took a short trip west of Lincoln to see the famous spring migration of the Sandhill Cranes of Nebraska.

The famous spring migration of the Sandhill Cranes of Nebraska.

The famous spring migration of the Sandhill Cranes of Nebraska.

‘Oh mother!’ said my daughters in a typical teenage whine, ‘Do we have to?’ This was in response to my suggestion to my family about taking a short trip west of Lincoln to see the famous spring migration of the Sandhill Cranes of Nebraska. Nevertheless, we bundled our two kids and ourselves in our car and set out on a balmy Sunday afternoon to witness a timeless rite of spring.

Cranes look golden at sunset

Cranes look golden at sunset

As we left Lincoln and preceded west, the highway rose over a gentle hill and suddenly miles upon miles of open plain was around us. I had traveled I-89 many times in both directions but suddenly, after 30 years of living in the plains, the wide-open space hit me with a tremendous exhilaration. Suddenly I became a true Nebraskan, in love with this open farmland, and the infinite sky overhead. Somehow I did not think this joy was shared by my children. They had ipods stuck in their ears and were deep in a bag full of munchies.

It took us some time to figure out where exactly to stop. We had set off on an impulse, without a guidebook or a map. I had this romantic idea about seeing the birds lined up on either side of the highway. I was not too far wrong. Once you spot them, you suddenly see them everywhere. Hundreds of them roosting in the cornfields and along the Platte River all the way from Grand Island to Kearney. Their grey color blends perfectly with the gray-brown earth and makes spotting difficult in the beginning. Occasionally we saw the graceful ’v’ of the birds flying overhead, but mostly they were feeding on the left over grains and resting up before their long flight north.

Cranes of Nebraska

Hundreds of cranes roosting in the cornfields and along the Platte River

We left the car in one of the farms and walked in the fields. We had to step carefully to avoid stepping on a cow dung or stubbles of the cornstalk. Needless to say, the girls were not at all impressed. But Suddenly we found ourselves amongst the cranes, and all around us were earth, birds and sky. No cars, no farmhouses, no human figures broke the horizon. The birds were surprisingly fearless (must have gotten used to camera toting tourists) and went on feeding calmly. I wanted to take their picture, but even by throwing a stone or a stick, I could only dislodge a few reluctant birds that promptly settled back to feed. They definitely decided they would not fly.

The birds were surprisingly fearless (must have gotten used to camera toting tourists) and went on feeding calmly.

The birds were surprisingly fearless (must have gotten used to camera toting tourists) and went on feeding calmly.

Then fate smiled upon us. Suddenly over the horizon a goods train approached. It came noiselessly and fast. And on its wake the birds rose in waves. Hundreds upon hundreds of clamoring birds filled up the bright blue sky with their grey-white wings. There were birds all around us, overhead and in all directions. Yet it was exhilarating, not scary at all. There were so many birds; I did not know where to point the camera. And after a few moments of picture taking, I just left my camera and stood enjoying the show. The birds clamored all around us. Their joyous cries filing up the sky.

. Hundreds upon hundreds of clamoring birds filled up the bright blue sky with their grey-white wings.

. Hundreds upon hundreds of clamoring birds filled up the bright blue sky with their grey-white wings.

After the train left, the birds gradually subsided. We watched them for a long time, admiring their graceful silhouette against the darkening evening sky. We were alone in the vast field only with the birds and all the world was at peace, waiting quietly for the nightfall.

As darkness fell, we reluctantly left the fields and the birds and trooped to our car for the drive back home. I could not help bur realize that this was one of the best trips our family had taken. And yet, we didn’t have to plan, buy air tickets, and spend a lot of money or anything. In terms of sheer pleasure, this little impromptu excursion ranked with our trips to Hawaii, or Bahamas, Paris or Aspen.

And I am sure the cranes touched my children’s hearts too. After all how can it not be?

Deer crossing the Platte River

Deer crossing the Platte River

Chhanda Bewtra works as a physician but truthfully is an inveterate traveler, shutterbug and near fanatic birdwatcher. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska, USA.
All Posts of Chhanda Bewtra

Hope you enjoyed reading...

... we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting our creative, informative and analytical posts than ever before. And yes, we are firmly set on the path we chose when we started... our twin magazines Learning and Creativity and Silhouette Magazine (LnC-Silhouette) will be accessible to all, across the world.

We are editorially independent, not funded, supported or influenced by investors or agencies. We try to keep our content easily readable in an undisturbed interface, not swamped by advertisements and pop-ups. Our mission is to provide a platform you can call your own creative outlet and everyone from renowned authors and critics to budding bloggers, artists, teen writers and kids love to build their own space here and share with the world.

When readers like you contribute, big or small, it goes directly into funding our initiative. Your support helps us to keep striving towards making our content better. And yes, we need to build on this year after year. Support LnC-Silhouette with a little amount - and it only takes a minute. Thank you

Support LnC-Silhouette

Creative Writing

Got a poem, story, musing or painting you would like to share with the world? Send your creative writings and expressions to editor@learningandcreativity.com

Learning and Creativity publishes articles, stories, poems, reviews, and other literary works, artworks, photographs and other publishable material contributed by writers, artists and photographers as a friendly gesture. The opinions shared by the writers, artists and photographers are their personal opinion and does not reflect the opinion of Learning and Creativity emagazine. Images used in the posts (not including those from Learning and Creativity's own photo archives) have been procured from the contributors themselves, public forums, social networking sites, publicity releases, Morguefile free photo archives and Creative Commons. Please inform us if any of the images used here are copyrighted, we will pull those images down.

5 thoughts on “The Wings Of Spring

  • Antara

    Very pictorial and lyrical travelogue. Loved the description of the train making the cranes take flight. Will look forward to more such travel stories that make you visualise the sights with words

  • Jyoti

    Hi Chandra,

    Nice narration. 🙂 I could relate to you excitement as an avid bird watcher and your plight as the parent of two uninterested kids. LOL. I share your plight often. 🙂

    I envy you that you were able to make a day trip and still get to enjoy the sights and the company. Loved reading every bit of it. 🙂 🙂

    Sandhill cranes visit my state too, though I have not been able to plan a trip to visit them. I live my dream of seeing a huge flock of birds by following other photographers who make timely trips. If you ever visit California, do stop by at San Joaquin Valley in winter. 🙂 You’d be treated to some ethereal fog and flocks of birds. 🙂

    Am posting links to some of my favorite images by fellow photographers… for your viewing pleasure. Hope you enjoy them!

    http://www.michaelfrye.com/landscape-photography-blog/2012/01/12/under-a-full-moon/0212-185/

    http://www.michaelfrye.com/landscape-photography-blog/2015/01/01/picking-best-images-2014/leaping-sandhill-crane-san-joaquin-valley-ca-usa/

    http://www.michaelfrye.com/landscape-photography-blog/2015/01/11/wildlife-landscapes/sandhill-cranes-fog-and-the-setting-moon-san-joaquin-valley-ca-usa/

    Regards,
    Jyoti

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Today’s Motivation

    <div class=at-above-post addthis_tool data-url=https://learningandcreativity.com/follow-heart/></div>We may see certain things that attract our eyes but we should follow our heart because when we listen to and trust our heart, it is usually right and we are happier as a result.<!-- AddThis Advanced Settings above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings generic via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><div class=at-below-post addthis_tool data-url=https://learningandcreativity.com/follow-heart/></div><!-- AddThis Share Buttons generic via filter on get_the_excerpt -->
    We may see certain things that attract our eyes but we should follow our heart because when we listen to and trust our heart, it is usually right and we are happier as a result.