Good Morning: Sandhill Crane Edition

good-morning-by-jiafan-john-xu

Good morning!, photo by Jiafan (John) Xu

View Jiafan’s photo bigger and see more in his sideshow.

More about Sandhill cranes on Michigan in Pictures.

Sandhills in the Mist

Sandhills in the Mist

Sandhills in the mist, photo by Bill VanderMolen

Perhaps they’re waiting for the gorillas?

Here’s a shot from earlier in December, but Michigan is still just as misty and non-snowy as then.

View Bill’s photo bigger and see more in his slideshow.

More birds and more about sandhill cranes on Michigan in Pictures.

Sandhill Liftoff

10-8 HDR 1e_Fotor

10-8 HDR 1e_Fotor, photo by Gregg Mulholland

Apparently the control tower likes to get those birds airborne.

Definitely check Gregg’s shot out big as the sky and roll through his Sandhill Cranes slideshow for more.

October’s Full Moon: a super Hunter’s Blood Moon in eclipse

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sandhill moon, photo by Frank Kaelin

EarthSky reports that for the full moon on October 8th, there’s a whole lot going on!

In skylore, the Northern Hemisphere’s Hunter’s Moon on October 7-8 will be called a Blood Moon. Plus the October 7-8 total lunar eclipse – the second of four total lunar eclipses in the ongoing lunar tetrad – has been widely called a Blood Moon. Voila. Double Blood Moon.

Hunter’s Moon the name for the full moon after the Harvest Moon, which is the full moon nearest the September 23 autumnal equinox. This year, the Harvest Moon came on September 9. That’s why tonight’s moon bears the name Hunter’s Moon.

…In 2014 and 2015, a new usage of the term Blood Moon sprang up. Surely you heard about it at the total lunar eclipse in April 2014. It’s the name being used for the four eclipses of the ongoing lunar tetrad – four total lunar eclipses in a row, each separated from the other by six lunar months. (more on this on Michigan in Pictures)

The partial umbral eclipse begins at 5:15 AM EDT on October 8, with the total eclipse starting at 6:25 AM, peaking at 6:55 and ending at 7:24.  On top of all that is the question as to whether or not October 8th’s moon is a supermoon:

At least two commentators – Richard Nolle and Fred Espenak – disagree on whether the October 8, 2014 full moon should be called a supermoon. Is it? You’re likely to see all sorts of conflicting information in October, 2014. If you define a supermoon based on the year’s closest perigee and farthest apogee, then the October 8 moon is not a supermoon. If you define a supermoon based on the perigee and apogee for a given monthly orbit, then it is a supermoon. And not just any supermoon, but a super Hunter’s Blood Moon in eclipse!

I guess with Frank’s photo from October 2013, we could add “Sandhill Moon” to the list! He writes that he took this at the Phyllis Haehnle Memorial Sanctuary where counts were as high as eight thousand sandhill cranes a day during last fall’s migration! View his photo bigger and see more in his Landscape slideshow.

Lots more full moon magic on Michigan in Pictures!

 

Over the Moon with a Sandhill Crane

Over the moon

Over the moon, photo by TBPICKS

The 1896 book Myths and Legends of our Own Land by Charles M. Skinner relates a rather gruesome version of the tale of the origin of Whitefish, which this photo reminded me of.

An Indian who lived far in the north was so devoted to the chase that he was never at home for the whole of a day, to the sorrow of his two boys, who liked nothing so much as to sport with him and to be allowed to practise with his weapons. Their mother told them that on no account were they to speak to him of the young man who visited the lodge while their father was away, and it was not until they were well grown and knew what the duty of wives should be that they resolved to disobey her. The hunter struck the woman dead when he learned of her perfidy. So greatly did her spirit trouble them, however, that they could no longer abide in their old home in peace and comfort, and they left the country and journeyed southward until they came to the Sault Sainte Marie.

As they stood beside the falls a head came rolling toward them on the earth—the head of the dead woman. At that moment, too, a crane was seen riding on the surface of the water, whirling about in its strongest eddies, and when one of the boys called to it, “O Grandfather, we are persecuted by a spirit; take us across the falls,” the crane flew to them. “Cling to my back and do not touch my head,” it said to them, and landed them safely on the farther shore.

But now the head screamed, “Come, grandfather, and carry me over, for I have lost my children and am sorely distressed,” and the bird flew to her likewise. “Be careful not to touch my head,” it said. The head promised obedience, but succumbed to curiosity when half-way over and touched the bird’s head to see what was the matter with him. With a lurch the crane flung off his burden and it fell into the rapids. As it swept down, bumping against the rocks, the brains were pounded out and strewn over the water. “You were useless in life,” cried the crane. “You shall not be so in death. Become fish!” And the bits of brain changed to roe that presently hatched to a delicate white fish, the flesh whereof is esteemed by Indians of the lakes, and white men, likewise. The family pitched a lodge near the spot and took the crane as their totem or name-mark. Many of their descendants bear it to this day.

The version I read in one of my all-time favorite books, Lore of the Great Turtle : Indian Legends of Mackinac Retold by Dirk Gringhuis is pretty dark as well. Michigan in Pictures has a post with all the information about Sandhill Cranes in Michigan, and you can also check out Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) from the Michigan DNR.

View this out on black and see more in Todd’s slideshow.

More birds on Michigan in Pictures.