Platte River morning Day1
The cranes use the Platte River at night for safe refuge. Predators have to wade through the water to reach them, darn hard to do and be stealthy. While they find the occasional frog or snake to munch, 500,000 cranes total (perhaps 5-6k in one spot) tend to clean up a night’s roost. So once the sun is up and the moment shakes them, they head to the skies and the fields where they fatten up for their flight north. The cranes spend a month or so on the Platte doing this same basic routine every day.
This was such a cool farm house out in the middle of nothing. It was very frustrating because there were no great clouds, no great gathering of cranes in the field so I took this shot just as a reminder for next time to be sure to visit this locale again!
Our time on the Platte was incredibly full with photographing and viewing the cranes. Depending on the skies, shooting can be over really quickly or last all day long or anything in between. We had a pretty darn sweet start with sunrise so we then headed to the fields like the cranes to shoot when we could and watch all the rest of the time. Here’s a little video of the morning. No commentary, I let the cranes have the last word.
The cranes besides having getting fat on their minds, have sex. They mate for life and while they seem to be happy a lot, pair bonding is very important right now as well as renewing bonds. The cranes “dance” with very little provocation. It’s great fun to watch and a challenge to photograph. I only got one frame of the dance I really like, from the entire trip this isn’t it. Most of the photos taken during this stop are a tad soft. Not because of me but heat shimmer. If you watch the video, you’ll see it. That was a problem for a number of the places we stopped to watch the cranes. Something to be said for cool temps and overcast skies. MTC
Photo captured by D3, 600VR / 600VR w/TC-17e on Lexar UDMA digital film
MooseCam captured by Canon HF-10 on Lexar digital film