I have never been one to do anything the easy way. If I did I would never have become a wildlife advocate. But sometimes there is a fine line between bravado and stupidity. I think I walked that line today. 20 years ago to the day I was in basic training at Fort McClellan, Alabama. In those days even the Army was smart enough to tone down physical activity on days as hot as today. I have long since traded in my M-16 for and iPod, but I still love to take my daily four mile walks. Today was no different.
Today started as a good day when I read that the Supreme Court smacked down ALEC, the Koch Brothers, and the rest of the extreme right wing “we only care about you in the womb and after that you are on your own” types by upholding the healthcare law. Then after lunch I kicked around the idea of taking my walk. It is 1:00 P.M. 90 plus degrees with brutal humidity and this idiot is actually considering taking a strenuous walk? Even my little Japanese Chin was looking at me like “Daddy, are you crazy?” when I was getting ready. I looked outside and saw that it became cloudy and there was a wind so I decided to go after putting on a little SPF 50, taping my feet, and setting up my iPod.
My walk takes about four laps in just over an hour to equal four miles. So I put in my ear buds turned on the new Rush album, Clockwork Angels (an outstanding album by the way), and went on my way. After my first two laps I was feeling great, but I noticed that the clouds were moving away and the sun came back with a vengeance. It became so brutal that I almost called off my walk. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw movement in the yard of an apartment complex on my route. I looked and saw a pair of sandhill cranes standing in the shade of a huge tree. I love cranes and this immediately put a smile on my face. I grabbed my phone and snapped a few pictures.
I am always elated when I see wildlife and this was no different. I went on with my walk with new energy and crossed the street. At the apartment complex across the street I looked and again saw two cranes in that yard. At first I thought the first pair of cranes had crossed the street but I looked again and the original pair were still across the street. Here was another pair of these beautiful birds. These ones were much less skittish and were very close when I took their picture.
I was so excited by seeing these wonderful birds that I forgot about how miserable I was from the heat and did my two remaining laps. The cranes were still there on each lap and you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. While walking I could not fathom why anyone would want to shoot these gorgeous animals. You have to be a particularly cold and heartless person to wish to cause harm to these animals.
Of course this is Wisconsin so we have people like Joel “Ribeye” Kleefisch who are chomping at the bit to start blowing these beautiful animals out of the sky for their own selfish reasons. Where I find inspiration in these wonderful creatures, people like “Ribeye” only want to kill them to fill their already bloated bodies.
These birds mate for life. Maybe we selfish humans could learn a few lessons from them instead of blowing them out of the sky. They are also smart enough to move very little and stay in the shade during weather like this 🙂 I guess I was the real “bird brain” today.