Grit and Cranes

Taken from Flying over the Pyrenees, standing on the plains

Common Cranes in flight over Balaguer

Cranes were strong fliers but even so this group was struggling to maintain its course against the force of the wind. Constantly buffeted by the fierce side wind their leader was tilted to the left with every other wing beat and the rest of the group, amid loud trumpeting and clanging, dutifully followed the course he or she set. Yet the river lay there below them and, like a plane guided in the night by the runway’s landing lights, the leader continually veered back to the right so as to follow the waters that would keep the group on their southbound course. In this way I watched their zig-zagging progress until they were dots in the sky. Strangely, though, the trumpeting returned to my ears with renewed vigour. I turned my head and saw another larger group following on behind them, weaving the same determined route.

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