MAIN CRANES: When it comes to biggest/fastest/smallest/wing-beatiest, it is easy to classify birds, to quantify how many times a heart beats in a minute or how many pounds a football-sized egg weighs. But when it comes to elegance, and exquisiteness, and sheer splendor, no bird lover wants to give the blue ribbon, definitively, to any particular sector of ornithologica. But cranes would certainly be under consideration as winners in all three of those hard-to-define categories. And the elegance of the crane, and its majesty, and its total crane-ness, will be celebrated in Lodi at the Sandhill Crane Festival.
Nov. 5-7, 2010: Crane aficionados are getting together for three days of nature tours and workshops and wine tastings and discussions. There will be several free activities, and family-nice stuff to do, too. Plus, Lodi, in November. There's a goldenness to the Sierra's fall foothills, and the lower-land Delta area, and we can imagine that to spy the-lovely-long-of-beak-and-neck in such settings will be a memory in the making. And certainly many photographs. Two notes: Other birds and animals will of course be spotlighted during the weekend. And two, we hear the tours are getting booked up, so you'll want to get in touch with the fest soon if you're interested.