Tens of thousands of cranes gather at Hiwassee. Gruuu gruuu: sound resonates within the trachea coiled within their sternum. Horn section of the avian band. An ancient sound; Sandhill Cranes have flown across North America for at least ten million years.
In this recording, made on my phone, you’ll hear the cranes overhead, and the ack-ack artillery of photographers shooting their pixel flak skyward:
“…not quite the world’s” William Stafford, Watching Sandhill Cranes
“…so stears the prudent Crane/Her annual Voiage, born on Windes;/the Aire
Floats, as they pass, fann’d with unnumber’d plumes…” John Milton, Paradise Lost
“The crane’s legs/have gotten shorter/in the spring rain” Basho (Matsuo Kinsaku)