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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Monday, November 29, 2010


Yesterday, I posted that I remembered that I hadn't formatted my memory card in probably a year and that when I did, I lost some photos of a blue heron.  I was pretty upset about doing something so stupid.

But, late yesterday afternoon, we heard the sandhill cranes coming in.  We hadn't heard them or seen them recently so I didn't know if they were going to stick around or not. 

We kept hearing them and I got the bino's out to look to the backside of the campground (which is about a mile back).  I could see a few birds back there so I convinced Dan we should try to sneak up on them.  We would drive part way and then walk the rest of the way...if it looked like it would be worth the effort.

I think it was worth the effort...

Wings over the waters

Wings over the water

Wings over the water

Wings over the water

Wings over the water

There had to have been AT LEAST 1000 sandhill cranes if not more.  I couldn't get all of the birds in one photo, so you'll have to take my word for it. 

When we got back to where I could start taking photos, they were mostly on the ground, at the end of the lake where Clark Creek comes into the reservoir.  It was plenty noisy with them on the ground.  Small flocks kept arriving and others would move aside to make more room.

I'd finally gotten all the photos I felt I needed and we started to quietly make our way back out.  All of a sudden there was a huge clatter of sandhill cranes squaking and wings beating, it startled us.  They pretty much all took off at the same time.  We hoped it hadn't been us that scared them off; we'd been very quiet (although I had a hard time not squeeling with excitement).

We watched for at least 5 minutes while these birds took flight.  How they kept from flying into each other, I do not know.  And more important, how WE managed to not get sandhill crane poop on us is amazing too.  We have never seen such a sight in our lives and you just cannot imagine the noise!  I could hardly hear anything Dan was saying and visa versa.

When I came back and loaded the shots to my computer, I saw a man, a woman and a dog on the other shore a lot closer to the cranes than we were. So that must have been what spooked the birds.

It was a sight and an experience we won't forget.


  1. OMG - Thanks ~ That is what we saw on our way down from Alaska, the pics I accidently deleted. THOUSANDS upon thousands of them riding the thermal current higher and higher. And YES ... I can imagine the noise! Been there, done that! :)
    'hugs from afar'

  2. Anonymous2:06 PM

    What a site to see!!! I thank you for sharing with us that aren't able to get out and about! I live through your blogs!!

  3. Anonymous5:01 PM

    I haven't posted in a while because Brenda and I have split up but I'm back in the game and getting up to speed. These are wonderful shots.

  4. AWESOME!!! You really got some fantastic shots ~ and I really appreciate you sharing them! I can only imagine the noise ~ I have 3 of them that fly over the house all the time in the summer and they make a racket... and you had thousands!! WOW!

  5. What an incredible moment to witness and capture! loved these photos!! This is a bird I've always wanted to see.

  6. Cher, I'm glad that you enjoyed the shots and that it reminded you of the "batch of birds" you had witnessed!

    Anonymous Gerald, Thanks!! I appreciate it!

    Anonymous Dick, sorry to hear about your situation. Hopefully things will work out for both of you.

    Mel, they were flying over again yesterday and it was such a site! I don't think I'd ever get tired of it! and they ARE so noisy!

    Shelley, We feel privelaged to have seen this. I'm sure people around here take it for granted! Hope you get to see them sometime too!

  7. Wow Cathy! Amazing experience and photos...color me jealous!! But I am sooo happy for you...it is a once in a lifetime experience you won't soon forget!!

  8. Retired One, I told Dan when we got back in the truck that I wished you could have been here to see this spectacle! You'd have been going nuts with your camera too!


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