Click the pics.... It only hurts for a little while.
There wasn't very many Sandhill cranes left at Whitewater draw, it looks like most of them already left. They seem to be getting along with the Snow Geese pretty well.
I made it to Whitewater Draw this morning at about 10 o'clock, and other than being buffeted by a little wind on I-10, the trip was uneventful.
When I got here, no boondocking spots were available, so I went down the road into the day parking area a couple of hundred feet away to think about what I should do now. Just about that time, somebody pulled out of their boondocking spot, and I got that one... Lucky me
As soon as I get out of my truck at Whitewater Draw, I usually hear the croaking sound 20,000 Cranes make, but I couldn't hear anything this time. So I walked down to the Lake, and all I could see was a handful of ducks and about a thousand snow geese; there wasn't a crane in sight.
Now I know the cranes leave the Lake and feed during the day, but I've never seen every one of them go before. There are always hundreds of Sandhill Cranes lleft on the Lake while the rest are off-feeding. I've been here half a dozen times now, and there have always been cranes present, so I've never heard it completely silent here at the boondocking area; it was weird not hearing a sound when I first got here.
But around noon, the cranes came back, and it became obvious that many of them had gone already. When I was here the last time, I believe I read there were approximately 20,000 cranes here, and even though it's impossible to count, I would guess there are less than a thousand here now. This is probably a good thing because most of the water has gone from the Lake, the Lake being a reservoir for irrigation water for the local farms. So the Cranes habitat is changing dramatically, and it probably won't be long before they will all be headed north.
So I'm glad I got here when I did; it allowed me to see them one last time and wish them vaya con dios, and a safe flight back North.
This pop-up truck camper was the same size as my little bronco and there was an older couple living in it. I can't imagine two people living in my little bronco, where do you put enough clothes for two people in there, or how do you carry enough food for two people without shopping every other day?
These folks obviously like their stickers telling everybody where they've been. I've never been a fan of stickers, especially bumper stickers.
I think I've see more skoolies this winter than I ever have before, maybe it's because RVs were so hard to come by a year or two ago so some folks decided to make their own. There was two of them boondocking here at Whitewater draw.
Mr. and Mrs. Crane relaxing after a morning of feeding in the local farmers fields.
Coming in for a landing.
I still wonder how in the world a Sandhill Crane locates his mate within these thousands of cranes that look exactly alike, and the cacophony of noise 20,000 cranes constantly make so calling to your mate seems like a waste of time.