I heard (and then saw) cranes on my bosque walk this morning!
In A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold wrote about the returning of geese:
One swallow does not make a summer, but one skein of geese, cleaving to the murk of a March thaw, is the spring.
We New Mexicans know that Leopold lived here in Albuquerque for a time, and I have no doubt he gave equal respect to the winter return of our sandhill cranes. As do I. The sandhill crane is among the oldest living species of birds, dating back 2.5 million years. Their primordial sound (which Leopold called “the trumpet in the orchestra of evolution”) reminds me to keep our own species in perspective.