Thursday, March 18, 2010


Today I had a mission: buy a bicycle. I've been working my ass off, literally, at the gym since last May and have finally gotten to the point where I think I have the strength and stamina to be a biker again, so today was the day to get it. I even took a vacation day tomorrow and one next week for riding purposes.

However, pessimist that I am, I wasn't so sure it would all work out for me today. Either the bikes would all be out of my price range (because really, it's been 20+ years since I bought one and inflation doesn't skip over bikes because I want it to), or they would only have ugly, grandma, brown ones. Gah!

As I left the house, I was half-excited, half-pre-disappointed.

Walking toward my car in my driveway, I looked to my right to admire the gorgeous sunny day and the birds gathered at the bird feeder and very nearly shit my jeans.

Two monstrous sandhill cranes were standing there, probably 30 feet away from me and approaching! HOLY CRAP! Now, I've seen sandhills before and I love them passionately. My first sandhill encounter happened outside of Grand Marais, Michigan one June when I was driving down the street and spied these two gigantic orange birds and a tiny baby one. I swerved off the road, did a U-ie, and watched these marvelous creatures until they scampered off into the woods. Since then, it's been an ongoing love affair. But they've NEVER, in the 23 years I've lived here, paid a visit to my yard!

Not even the ornery Canada geese deterred them. They munched on seeds and breadcrumbs for a good long time, until someone approached too close and they wandered into my back yard!


Eventually the guy who scared them off left and they went right back to the bird feeder to continue filling up. They seemed to not care about me in the least, and I was no more than 15 feet from them.

I watched them eat for a while and then went about my bike-buying day. I'm weirdly superstitious about how my day starts off and how that bodes for the remainder of the day. If, while driving to work, I hear a good song on the radio, it will be a good day. If I'm going somewhere and spot interesting wildlife, the adventure will be grand. It always pans out, too. Never fails. So, with my pair of sandhill cranes in my yard, I knew things would go well with the bike-buying.

And it did! I'm the proud new owner of a baby blue Schwinn mountain bike, which I have to re-learn how to ride.

DUDE, they lie so hard when they say you don't forget how to ride a bicycle because in 20 years, bikes are TOTALLY DIFFERENT and I have to learn how to ride new bikes. Also, the style of jeans that are currently out there are not conducive to bike riding, thank you very much fashion designers. I'm going to be one of those geeks with a rubberband around my ankle so my boot-cut pant cuffs aren't snagging on the chain. This was so much easier in the 80s when we wore stirrup pants or jeans with ankles so tight they put zippers in them so your feet fit through. Sigh.

Anyway, it was a successful adventure and I'm a bike owner and temporary neighbor to sandhill cranes.

I love spring!


Anonymous said...

HOw cool are those cranes!!! Happy biking

Jane in Edmonton said...

WOW! very cool start to the day. Nice pictures, too. Wish my birdfeeder attracted such impressive visitors.

Leelu said...

Bring back the 80s: tight-roll those babies!

Also, yay cranes! :D

Manda said...

Those cranes are gorgeous. We have a crane that sometimes is at our pond. But he's very skiddish. So far, I have only a few blurry pictures from far away. One day, elusive crane, one day...

Glad your day of crane awesomeness came for you. :)