Counting Cranes for Earth Day

Counting Sand Hill Cranes in Farmington Township, Jefferson County, Wis.

On Saturday, my friend Liz and I got an early start to Earth Day celebrations. Literally. As in rolling out of bed and venturing out in the field by 5:30 a.m. for the Annual Midwest Crane Count. At such a pristine hour, the sun hadn’t fully risen, but the music of nature was in surround sound.

Wood duck in Jefferson County, WIs., DNR marshland

We saw flocks of Canadian Geese, Wood Ducks and scores of smaller wetland birds. We heard a pair of Horned Owls in the distance and choruses of Sandhills Cranes. And frogs, oh, the frogs!

Annual Midwest Crane Count, Jefferson County, Wis.

We’d been forewarned that our assigned area would be a little wet. You know your friend is a kindred spirit when she’s willing to rise early on her day off and muck through a swamp.

DNR marshland Farmington Township, Jefferson County, Wis.

By 7:30 the sun was up and we’d completed our 2-hour count. Based on the Sandhill calls and the directions from which they came, we recorded hearing six cranes and seeing one in flight. From there, we headed to Sustain Jefferson for its sixth annual Organic Gardening Workshops and Potato Fair.

All in all, what a wonderful way to appreciate the beautiful earth God has given us!

Earth Day is April 22—what are you doing to celebrate?

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