Thursday, 29 September 2011
Author Spotlight _ Janis Lane talks about the fun of bird watching
I have treasured memories I feel free to use in the stories I am writing. My siblings and I once saw very large birds--red tops, gray with long necks and legs--feeding near a swampy pond. One let out a trumpet call that could be heard for miles. Okay, maybe a block or two. Loud in any case.
As we watched, stifling our pre-teen giggles, our eyes widening in amazement, we witnessed the courtship dance of a pair of Sandhill Cranes. They jumped up with wings widely spread, heads thrown back and bumped chests for all the world as if someone had just made a touch down. They intertwined long necks, released, then hugged again. One of them broke away and did a victory dance all on his own. The other watched intently, then followed suit. It looked like so much fun.
As it ended—we knew it was over for they bowed to one another and walked away—one of the birds, heeding some unknown signal, lifted into the air straight up. Another followed suit and then one by one, as if on an elevator, they rose in a spiraling swirl into the clear sky above. Later I understood they were catching an invisible updraft and using it to their advantage. It was an amazing sight to see.
I couldn’t help but think bird-land behavior resembles some of our own. We enjoy eating together, make too much noise occasionally, act silly when we are in love, protect our young, and sometimes we dance with abandonment and joy. I hope you enjoy the courtship of Abby and Adam in my story and the glimpses of other bird-watching adventures and memories of mine.