Friday, 16 October 2009

The Cranes are back


I have been away since late September and travelled back this morning by bus from Madrid, leaving at dawn (8 am here!) and heading south-west on the motorway towards Trujillo. It was a glorious autumn morning and as we approached Extremadura so the landscape became greener - that wonderful flush of green that even just a couple days of autumn rain can entice from the soil. Claudia picked me up just past 11 am in Trujillo and took me back home. It felt that I had been away for ages and it was good to be back. Just as I was getting out of the car the unmistakeable bugling of passing cranes could be heard. The sky was completely cloudless and it took a bit of time to find the distant birds against the intense blue. Soon we could hear some more, this time a lot closer. A party of perhaps a hundred, momentarily disorientated, circling in a pack before two or three figured out the correct direction and thus formed an irregular skein, proceeding southwards. During the next few hours several more parties came over. Claudia told me that she had heard cranes passing over for a few days now, but these were my first of the autumn and on my first day back! What a welcome! For me, the day I see the first cranes of the autumn is always one of the top days of the year, and what makes it so special is that invariably they will be flying over our home against an azure sky.

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