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"Galactic Migration"

 

Two sandhill cranes take flight in an other-worldly setting

"Galactic Migration" (2005) - This represents somewhat of a departure from the gallery's scientific art into more of a fantasy realm.

Copyright 2006, James Hervat

 

PRINTS AVAILABLE

High-quality reproductions of all the artwork in this gallery are available from my Print Store. They are offered in a range of sizes, printed on paper, canvas or other print substrates. Prints can be ordered unframed or you can choose from a selection of framing and matting options. Orders are usually shipped in 2-3 business days and come with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee return policy. Please see the PRINTS page for more information and a link to the Print Store.

 

My Sandhll Crane Story

Having been a city boy most of my life, my own familiarity with birds was limited to a few rather common, ordinary species (not to disparage anyone) like robins, sparrows, pidgeons, etc... It was unusual for me to encounter anything bigger than a seagull.

Twenty years ago I moved from my downtown studio to my present location adjacent to a sprawling wildlife habitat. Shortly after moving in I was out taking a walk in the adjoining fields and woods with my room-mate Winston. I was taking in my new neighborhood and Winston was on a routine rabbit and squirrel check (no doubt hoping for the opportunity to really annoy some of them).

Out of the corner of my eye I detected a bit of rustling in the tall grass about twenty feet to my left. I turned to see a huge bird rising out of the grass, lit red by the setting sun. It gave a gutteral squawk and as it labored to get airborne I could hear the air being pushed aside under its huge wings. In the excitement of the encounter I estimated its wingspan to be a good 18-20 feet (it was actually about 6 feet). As I stood, still frozen, watching it fly off, a single word was stuck in my brain--one I probably couldn't spell--"pterodactyl". I looked at Winston, who wasn't as impressed (it wasn't a rabbit). I suspected I came upon a nest, but didn't dare walk over to look, for fear of being fed to whatever might be in it. Of course, I've seen photos of sandhill cranes, but actually seeing one for the first time from so close left an impression.

While I wouldn't call this first encounter "life-changing", it did start an interest in and appreciation for sandhills. The fossil records show these birds to be largely unchanged for over two million years and fossils of direct ancestors go back ten million years. Sandhills, thankfully, aren't as rare as their whooping crane cousins and I'm sure many who read this are already familiar with them. For more information, I invite all who are interested to visit the site of the International Crane Foundation (Baraboo, Wisconsin) and learn more about these magnificent birds and the Foundation's courageous efforts to protect them.

They're at: https://www.savingcranes.org/

JH

 

Below: one of my homeys. Photo by the artist.

Sandhill crane photo by the artist.

 

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