Bosque del Apache


The cranes are back. This morning I was re-tying yarn skeins to get them ready for dyeing and I heard them through the double pane windows. I ran outside, and yes, it was the unmistakable sound of sandhill cranes calling. This is the front of the troop. Thousands and thousands more will be arriving in the next few weeks.

These birds are a big sign of hope for me. It is a time of indecision and uncertainty in my little family. The return of the cranes is something I didn't think I would be here to see, but here I am. They make me feel hopeful. Time isn't linear, it moves in circles. The good we plant comes around again. I am so happy to witness the return of these big beautiful birds. They'll be here a few months before heading north to Oregon or Canada to their summer nesting grounds. Maybe by the time they leave I will be following them on my own migration.

Here is a video compiled from photos and video taken over the last year. Listen to the sound of thousands of cranes circling. The cranes arrive in the San Luis Valley sometime around Valentine's Day, stopping here after leaving their wintering grounds at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge near Socorro, New Mexico. They will be here for a couple months before they fly north for the summer. They stop here again in October and November on their way back south with their new young in tow. Most of these cranes are greater sandhill cranes as opposed to the famous flocks of lesser sandhills on the North Platte in Nebraska.

Opaque transparency and sandhill cranes

Well, I tried the transparency with the actual tapestry and was disappointed in the results.  I was skeptical from the beginning as I think transparencies are best when hung so that light shows through them somehow and hanging one against a dark tapestry was perhaps not the best idea.  I was hoping the design from the Anthem tapestry would show through the open weave in the linen, but the bright colors of the bar design in the tapestry did not show up well.  I didn't end up finishing the transparency because the original tapestry was so much prettier by itself.  I will have to return to the design phase for the white pulpit hanging and perhaps figure out how to bleach wool.  But before that, the red Pentecost hanging sounds more appealing.  And before that I have a commission to weave.  When is Pentecost?  I may not have time to complete that line-up.

Westminster Presbyterian Church, Gallup, N.M.

And on the way to Gallup for Christmas we stopped at the Bosque del Apache NWR to watch the sandhill cranes.  This is something that I love to do.  Their haunting cries and beautiful flight contrasts with their goofy landing gear and social behavior on the ground.

Cranes after evening fly-in