Recently I visited the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary with my camera.  Not a bad way to spend an afternoon and $5!  I was hoping for lots of photo ops of exotic wild birds.

Well … there were squirrels.

And blackbirds.

And judgmental looking ducks.

I was hoping for more birds of prey, but didn’t really see any.  I know other areas where I can find some though, so I’ll keep hunting.  And I randomly passed a huge flock of trumpeter swans in a field as I was driving home, but there was nowhere safe to stop on the busy highway.  Poop.

When I was heading toward the exit of the sanctuary, I ran into 4 or 5 sandhill cranes with some serious confidence!  I wanted to get a photo, so I rattled my birdseed bag and they came strolling over and stole it from me.  I retrieved it and moved away a bit and rattled the bag again to get their attention and snapped some photos, and a woman sitting on a bench said “Now you have to give them some,” and I was all “uh, sure” and tossed a handful of seed on the ground.

She said “They’ll eat it right out of your hand you know,” and I was like, “Umm, SU-PER pointy.  I don’t think so.”  Because I have worked in wildlife rescue and Blue Herons are bastards who will stab you in the eye if you get close.  I assumed their ginger-headed cousins were of a similar bent.

But then I saw a, like, 4 year old kid feeding the cranes and got shamed into hand feeding the cranes too.  And I still have eyes.

(and yes, I have joined Instagram at last.  Feel free to follow us there too)

They do make for some pretty photos, when they aren’t robbing your pockets.

I‘d like to go back again when I have more time, make a day of it.  Probably won’t bring lunch though, because thieving cranes.

I got back home with just a little daylight left to take some doggie photos too.

Dexter has a hitch in his giddyup, so he’s been relegated to on-leash exercise only for the past couple of weeks.  We are both completely sick and tired of him on leash, so I let him have a few rounds of light fetch to combat the urge we have to kill one another.

We still have the most elegant and graceful of dogs, Sophie:

Still making friends, wherever she goes.

She is a wicked smart puppy, so her failure to clue in to the oh-so-subtle go-away signals of TWooie can only be a sign of sheer pigheadedness.  She’s a bully in a soft fuzzy package.  Poor TWooie spends half his life either snarling and snapping at her, or trying to climb to higher ground so she will give him a moment’s peace.  I have to physically remove her from his Personal Space Bubble about 400 times a day.  She is a soft dog when it comes to people, but a tenacious shithead when it comes to other dogs.  We have fostered an awful lot of puppies and I have never experienced this before – most of them give TWooie a wide berth after the first snap or two.  But not Sophie!

At least she has the good sense to be slightly frightened of Spring.  Because nothing’s scarier than a terrier.

Fortunately for TWooie, it looks like Miss Sophie will be leaving us soon.  Some friends of mine are very interested in adopting her.  One of them is a professional magician, so maybe he can magic her into something other than a total toolbag.

My house is going to feel so empty soon, because look what else got adopted!

My Little Man is going to be someone else’s Little Man as soon as he gets neutered next week.  I’m happysad.  He is going to a great home, but I will miss him ever so much.  Who’s going to crawl out of his crate in the morning and greet me with a nose kiss now?  It’s my favourite part of the day – he just slithers out of the crate on his belly and goes straight in for the smooch.

I just love this little wiry face, and will miss it so.

(I feel like Wootie knows something I don’t.  And I’m frightened.)


  1. That second shot with TWooie looks like she’s saying, “Haha! That tickles!”

  2. So glad to hear that Sophie has found a home. I wish your magician friend all the best with her and I hope they are a wonderful fit.
    Not as happy to hear about your Little Man though (on your behalf). Morning nose smooches sound pretty awesome!

  3. Wootie knows you posted his doppelganger on Facebook and is thinking how to get you back for it. Your pictures of the birds are terrific.

  4. What is your Instagram handle?

  5. Those cranes have quite the nostrils (beak holes? do beaks have nostrils?)…you can see right through!

  6. How can you let Little Man go? I too will miss him. That face! Those ears! Go well, Little Man. And Sophie, too! Thank you for the picture of Woo – my heart throb. Great pictures of the birds.

  7. Such amazing photos. And, yes, what is your Instagram handle?

  8. FWIW, I think Wootie knows a LOT of things we don’t..
    Love the bird pics. How cool is it to get that close to a crane? Any Sandhill Cranes I see around here are VERY skittish, and you’re lucky to get within 50yds. of them before they fly off squawking.

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