Cranes and mosquitoes. Who would've guessed that the skies would be filled with both at the end of October? Cranes, yes. Mosquitoes.... huh?
It's the weekend of the Crane Watch at the Haehnle Bird Sanctuary about 5 miles to the north of us. We love partnering with them every year -- introducing wine tasting to bird watchers and crane watching to wine tasters. Because of the popularity of the event, it has now grown to 2 days.
People meet at the Sanctuary at 4 pm on either day, Saturday or Sunday. First they drive around the area in caravans to watch the cranes feeding in newly cut corn fields. Yesterday they were able to spot our local celebrity, the Whooping Crane, on Wooster Road, about a mile or so directly north of us. He showed up last year with a group of Sandhills migrating from Florida and has decided to make Michigan his home. (photo above)
Next they return to the Sanctuary to watch the cranes fly in just before dusk.
We stay open late both days and encourage the crane watchers to visit us before or after the event.
The weather this weekend has been absolutely lovely. Crisp air and gorgeous fall colors. The only downfall this year has been the mosquitoes. They flourished after the heavy rains we had in mid-September (Raspberry Festival/Hurricane Ike weekend). We've had another generation since then and they're almost unbearable. Yesterday we welcomed quite a few crane watchers who came back early -- they couldn't stand the mosquitoes any longer.
It's always something, isn't it?
Photo of Sandhill Crane and Whooping Crane by Tom Hodgson