A couple of weekends ago, during the time when we were still basking in the warmth of a January thaw that seemed like it would last the entire month, my friend and I headed south in search of sandhill cranes. Those of you who know me or are regular readers of this column know that I am what some refer to as a “craniac”. I really love cranes. I love seeing them. I love hearing them calling across the skies and marshes and cornfields. I love watching them dance in their excitement of being around other cranes with a joie de vivre I envy. Are you getting the feeling that I like cranes a whole lot? I like them so much that I want to see them every month of the year. Cranes are hanging out in this part of Wisconsin much longer than they used to and returning sooner too. I had November cranes this year. I had December cranes this year. But the cranes left during that second week of December which means a road trip for me and my fellow craniac. The Jasper Pulaski Wildlife Area near Kouts, Indiana is a staging area for sandhill cranes before they head further south. So off we went. The area where the cranes can usually be found has been taken over by two large solar farms. While there’s still grass to be found between the solar panels, there’s no corn to be gleaned. So we had to drive around looking for cranes a long time without seeing any. Suddenly, there were two in the air and five on the ground (I have pictures!) so we knew they had to be somewhere. Then I remembered that the year Covid struck my fellow craniac and I were on our way to Nashville to the Public Library Association Conference and had swung by this area to see if we could find our January cranes. We didn’t see any at the refuge area, but there were a few thousand cranes as we headed west towards I-65. We tried that and there they were. A few thousand cranes – dancing, calling, feeding on corn fields in the sunshine on snowless fields. Another successful January crane quest!
If you’re searching for some new books, caste your eyes further down the page. Below are some of the new titles which recently arrived at the library. Enjoy!