Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sandhill Cranes


This is a field sketch painted while crunched in our Toyota RAV.

Yellowstone still looks more like winter than spring. It always suprises me that cranes return to Blacktail ponds before the ice melts. Somehow the cranes find enough food while they wait for better conditions. While they wait there will be several cranes in the area. Later a pair or two will nest here and other will move on to other marshes.

We've been able to keep track of one specific crane for 15 springs at this pond. "Peg Leg" has only one foot, but two legs. Her gait is very distinctive. I've just posted some 'at home' sketches of pegleg on my blog:


  1. They are gorgeous Elva, great sketch. You are so blessed to be able to sketch them in the field and would love to see old 'Peg Leg'!

  2. What a wonderful job on these, Elva, and how fortunate to be able to track a single crane over time.

  3. Lovely sketch, Elva. I have enjoyed keeping track of my bluebirds during their nesting season; how extraordinary to be keeping track of sandhills with the same kind of annual observations!

  4. Your cranes are wonderful, Elva! I love the wintery atmosphere of your sketch!


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