Jeffrey saw them first. They came drifting down across the sky in their crazy crane way, and landed on the ice. Then they just stood around looking kind of confused and bent over to peck their beaks against the surface every so often. There seem to be only two but then there were four there for a while. Is one of them the grown-up baby? Did he find himself a mate? I wish that there was a way for me to tell them apart. I feel like I'm the Jane Goodall of the cranes. I want to know all about their social lives. Where did they go? Some local fishing spot where it never freezes? Did the make the flight to somewhere south? They've only been gone about 4 months, so it hardly seems worth the trip. We noted that they seem nice and round. Jeff thought that they might have gotten skinny from either lots of flying or less food. So many mysteries.
All I know is that we are desperate for some signs of Spring around here. Sure, there are pictures of daffodils on this month's calendar page, and the store ads in the Sunday circulars are showing little girls in sleeveless Easter dresses, but we have hardly had any days above freezing this month, and those were still cold, damp and cloudy. There is still snow on the ground and everything is looking as dormant as ever. But the cranes are back! And lots of other birds are around too. When I go outside (meaning when I dart from my car to the door hunching against the blowing sleet) there is chirping going on, and it's lovely! Spring WILL come, it doesn't feel like it yet, but it has to eventually, the calendar says it.