I’m growing several pots of herbs upon my kitchen windowsill. Outside the window, every afternoon I get to watch a Sandhill Crane family feeding. They never notice me because I’m hidden behind the cover of 5 beautiful hibiscus bushes that are now taller than I. One bush doesn’t like to bloom, one bush provides up to 9 blooms daily, and the others give me from 4 to 7 blooms each and every day. When my daughter bought this house more than a year ago, we were excited to see how many different colors of hibiscus we’d be getting. Alas though, all of these are a bright pink, but they are all splendid double-blossoms! We also have a red hibiscus in the backyard.
I didn’t expect to get this much joy out of watching the crane couple and their baby. They come each day at the same time, about 15 to 20 minutes after the nearby Middle School has let forth it’s stream of students and those students have all made their way to their homes. Then a few moments later I hear them coming….their call almost sounds like the velociraptors from the ‘Jurassic Park’ movies but not as loud (or definitely not scary!) as they arrive to feed in our side yard from whatever has dropped from the trees. I peer through the window and through the bushes and watch them.
I have fun plucking a hibiscus and sticking it over & behind my ear like I used to do almost every day while living in Hawaii. As a student at Chaminade University in Honolulu, I lived in the dorm. The college is on the side of a mountain….most of my classes were on the 1st ‘level’, a few were on the 2nd ‘level’, and my dorm was quite a bit higher up the mountain. We had the most amazing vistas from Diamond Head to Waikiki, to all of Honolulu and Ala Moana Beach Park, to Pearl Harbor. God gave us the most spectacular sunsets every evening, which brought all the students out onto the lanais just to take a pause and watch the majesty of the best show of all! Amazing! It was so serene and well worth taking a break for! Anyway, coming up that mountain was extremely tiring and always left me breathless (and not the good kind). But in the mornings when I was hurrying to that 7 a.m. class, I’d be rushing (not a good idea in slippahs!) down that mountain via a well-worn ‘shortcut’ instead of the road….at the end of the trail I’d say a quick HELLO to the statue of Fr. Chaminade, then grab a hibiscus and enter the classroom! I usually was in my seat just as the Professor entered. What a life!
I was Hoosier-born and raised. I know that when this baby crane gets bigger, and he/she will do so at an amazingly fast rate, and when the weather up in the northern states warms enough for this year….then ‘my’ little Sandhill Crane family will be flying northward for the summer. My Indiana kin and friends always are happy to see the cranes return, as are we here in Florida. It’s something we share!
I look out my kitchen window and notice that the baby crane must be approximately a ‘teenager’ about now. Right now I’m living in central Florida. They’ll be going north soon, maybe even to Indiana! My gorgeous hibiscus flowers make me long for the Hawaii that I dearly miss! And it looks like it’s time to re-plant those herbs into the outside garden now.