One Is the Lonliest Number.

As Andrew and I hiked the New Hope-Iola Ski Hill Segment of the Ice Age Trail last week, we came across a surprise.  We had just crossed the road and had entered a field, walking along the the treeline.  Out of the forest, directly in front of us, we saw a figure emerge from the shadows.  It was a sandhill crane. 

One. Lonely. Bird.

Hauntingly, it kept calling out and walking toward us at a 45 degree angle.  It almost seemed to think that we were sandhill cranes.   My heart broke as it flew off, alone.  

The Scaup

The Shrike

It snowed the next day, but now it's warming up again, and, at Wildwood Park, I saw a lesser scaup all by itself in the midst of a crowd of Mallards.  I also saw a Nothern Shrike high up in a tree.  Not only were these the sole representatives of their species anywhere around, but I also cannot recall ever seeing such creatures before. It's also remarkable that the crane comes in the Spring to stay until next Winter, but the shrike will soon head north, and the scaup is already on its journey north.  Each of them is at a different point in their journey.  I wonder how many people in my life have gone unnoticed, who needed someone to be with them even just for a while.  I wonder how hard their journeys have been, and how I might share my journey with them too.