Cranes’ Law

Cranes’ Law: Cranes will double in number every few minutes from 2 to 4 to 8 and then there will be a crowd of cranes in the shallows.


If you take a left past Holly’s Tangle-Heart Tree, followed by a few hops, a dozen skips and a great big jump, you will be on the west bank of Rio Grande where, especially at sunset, you will see a magical view of the Sandias with the river flowing by in the foreground. In the shallows of the river, this time of year, you will see Sandhill Cranes. There were two cranes in the shallows when made the final jump as the sun slipped behind the horizon. I photographed cranes circling and landing south of me, and the last of the red blaze on the Sandias. I turned to look at what the two carnes were doing and there were four cranes. A few minutes later more cranes flew in, then more flew in until there was a crowd of cranes in standing in front of me in the shallows of the river.





Six, Seven


In coming!
Easy does it.
Tripped on a fish or what?
Beak plant!
Good recovery.


As many as 28.

Sparing match.

Here we come!
Going for a smooth landing.
Surfing the current.
Another fish strike.
Another beak plant.
Did you see that silly goose?


37 thoughts on “Cranes’ Law

  1. Excellent photography Timothy! So many great action photos and a couple crashes. They are so graceful both in the air and landed. I wonder if the Canadians are headed north or south? 😎

    • Thanks, John. They will all be heading north soon. Except a lot of the Canadian Geese stay here year-round.

  2. Wonderful and beautiful for many reasons, not the least of which is that they will be gone soon. Thanks for so many pics! 🙂

    • Thanks, Susan. The cranes are getting bolder and don’t seem to care that they are only 20 to 30 feet from us. It’s another sign they are getting reading to head north.

  3. It’ll be another three weeks or so for the cranes to make their way into Colorado. They have a stopover point in the San Luis Valley which they generally make in early March. Talk about drawing a crowd during their 10-14 day stopover.

    • Hi Lavinia. The first photo of the Sandias was over exposed because I forgot the change the camera settings. I liked the halo efect when I processed it to bring the exposure down to somwhat normal.

  4. Thanks for sharing all these photos, Tim. They are all so very beautiful! You’re blessed to live near/on the Bosque.

  5. Wow! This is a great collection of beautiful and impressive photographs. You are also blessed to live in a beautiful area, Tim. Wish I had no fear of flying and I could pay you a visit someday…

  6. This really is a magical series – the colours, movement and atmosphere. I could take a seat opposite this view with very great pleasure, but lingering over your images is the next best thing.

  7. Oh my right past the Tangle Heart tree is where you captured this amazing collage of landscape and the beautiful Sandhill Cranes. Awesome photos Tim. I think I’ve said before that CSS we have lots of Sandhill Cranes roaming our neighbor hood that come right up to our windows and peer in. It’s quite amusing to say the least. I really enjoyed these photos and your description of the region. Thank you Timothy!

    • Hi Holly. Our cranes are not as bold as yours. They let us get pretty close to them. They are so fun to watch and listen to. Lots of magic happens around your Tangle-Heart Tree.

      • Folks around here feed the Cranes so they feel it’s ok to come knocking. They are so sweet in their little families. Thanks to you Tim the “models” will soon need the Tangle Heart tree again in the fight against our environment’s enemies. 🎄have a great day Tim.

  8. Yes, I saw the silly goose! A Canadian, I believe.
    I think it’s Holly’s Tangle-Heart tree that lures them in. It’s a beacon, which is why I love it so much for my PBH stories!

    • Since all we have are Canadian Geese, I can’t tell if they are any sillier than other geese. Thanks, Resa.

  9. Such gorgeous photographs, I love the awesome cranes , they are amazingly choreographed! The Owls seem to love the Tangle Heart as much as I do. I think they can get such a perfect view from those branches. Oh, this is wonderful Tim. Thank you !

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