It was Mommy's birthday the other day and to celebrate she took the day off and I took her for a hike at the state park. We had intended to do an all day hike, but it was cold and raining in the morning so we didn't get to go, but it turned to cool and misty by afternoon and we left then. We did 8 miles and it was lots of fun, even if I did get slow and grumpy for the last three. Because the weather wasn't very good there weren't very many people on the trails and we got to see a lot of animals that are normally scared off by the loud hikers. Mommy spotted an indigo bunting, which Mommy thinks is one of the prettiest birds out there. Here is a picture of one Mommy found on the web. Maybe he is related to the one we saw!
We also saw hawks and swans and all kinds of ducks, not just mallards, but wood ducks and harlequin ducks and even a ruddy duck who must have overslept and missed his migration bus. Best of all the sandhill cranes were out and were being extra territorial so they were yodeling like crazy. When I was at the peak of my tired grumpiness a kitty-dog ran across our path! Well that woke me up and I picked up my pace for the end of the hike. Mommy calls kitty-dogs "foxes". Shows what she knows. I wore my camera, but I have to admit that I didn't get any really good shots, so we aren't going to force them on y'all.
The funniest thing happened at the end of the hike. Mommy and I had just turned the last corner and could see the access trail ahead of us when we spotted two teenage boys with fishing poles over their shoulders and their pants down to their knees. They were doing that "I'm too cool for this" slouching walk when suddenly they stopped dead in their tracks and stared with really big eyes at the clearing by the access trail. Mommy and I couldn't see what they were staring at, but, since it was dusk, Mommy was concerned it might be coyotes so she made me stop while we listened for clues. Then we heard a sandhill crane yodel and Mommy said, "Oh it's just cranes. Let's go." so we started forward again. Well, when that bird yodeled one of the boys went running back toward the parking lot waving his arms over his head and yelling, "Look at da woodpeckers yo! Look at da woodpeckers yo!" Three more boys came hustling up as fast as they could with their pants down to their knees and the five boys all stood there staring at the cranes and arguing about what they were. We could hear the first boy insisting they were woodpeckers and another boy saying he thought they were "storks or cranes or geese or something" and the other three trying to decide who to believe. One was leaning toward goose and the other two were heading towards woodpecker. Finally the first boy ended his argument with, "Ain't you never seen da cartoons?!" Mommy laughed at that but she COULD see where he was coming from. I mean check out the similarities:
When we got up to the boys one of them turned to Mommy and said, "Lady, you know what kind of birds those are?" Mommy told them they were sandhill cranes and the "storks or cranes or geese" boy yelled, "Thank you!"
Mommy bought Chinese food on the way home and we had a nice snuggly evening. I was tired for two days afterward.