It began in late spring, when the turkeys were still stationed by the old sugar maple trees in the barnyard. It was morning chore time and I was dutifully feeding, watering and letting the birds out for the day. Movement in my peripheral vision caught my eye, and I looked up to see two adult sandhill cranes approaching from across the pasture to the north.

It is common to see cranes on the farm since they first decided to settle our fields in the early 2000s. But, usually when they see you, they are walking away. Not in this case. I wondered, could this be the pair that were my constant chore companions last summer? The boldest came closer, eyed me with my classic sunhat and utility golf cart, then pecked the ground ceremonially before raising his head to stare at me again. Seeing that I held still, he pecked the ground again, then looked back. It must be Tristan and his lady!

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