"Every day starts with a blank canvas. What picture will you paint for all to see today?" ~ Dan Waltz

Monday, September 23, 2019

Against All Odds - Adopted

Extra Extra Read All About It!
 Headline: Sandhill Crane family adopts gosling and raises it as their own!

“The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.” – George Santayana 

Who do you think of, when you hear someone mention,"The Family?"

There are a few names that come to my mind, like the Charles Manson family, and the Manzoni family in the Mafia; two families notorious for doing bad things. I assure you, that neither of these families are not "The family" I’m referring to in my story. Then there is the group called, Sister Sledge, who sang about "The Family," which became a big hit in 1979. I’m not referring to that family either. "The family" I’m speaking of is more like the "Royal Family"The Royal Family of Kensington; even the name has a bit of British flare to it. But, I'm not talking about a district in London, England, nor the Prince of Wales. This Family resides at Kensington Metropark in Milford, Michigan, the United States of all places, and thanks to the Paparazzi, this family has earned their "Royalty" status.

There is only one type of person who will get up at all hours of the night, and travel to no extent, for a chance to see a rare species; one that could possibly be on their “Life List.” Those people are commonly known as “Birders.”

Now, a Sandhill Crane is by no means considered a rare species, and neither is a Canada Goose. They are both very common just about everywhere you look, but when a Canada Goose drops an egg in a Sandhill’s nest, the outcome can attract “Birders” from near and far. This Photographic Journey was inspired by this extraordinary event, which took place between the months of May through mid-July, 2019.

Let me start out this story by saying that I don't know how this extraordinary tale got started. No one does that I know of. There was plenty of speculation on how it all began and a lot more speculation on how it will and did end. This book is based on what I know and observed from what I personally witnessed and photographed over that span of time, and I did my best to fill in the gaps. How it got started isn't nearly as important as the message this story brought. What I, and many others witnessed was nothing short of remarkable and it became the inspiring force to create what is before you today; a book entitled, "Against All Odds."

Please let me reiterate, this book was inspired by actual events, and it’s not necessarily the entire actual story. I visited "The Family" two, sometimes three or four times a week, at different times of day. I got to know their schedule, where and when they went places, and what they did pretty well, but I did miss seeing them more days than not, so there was ample room in this story to fill, but they primarily did the same thing, at the same time of day, day in and day out.

Despite their differences,"The Family" took great care of each other and what I witnessed was that they were smart enough to rely on human interaction for their safety. They realized early on that the smallest of the family, the adopted gosling, would require special needs. His shorter legs and webbed feet would require the Sandhills to do things they wouldn't necessarily have to do as cranes. Slower travel for example. This left them vulnerable, and to watch how they improvised was amazing. 

This was a remarkable story of a beautiful family; a story that needed to be told, and it all developed right before our very eyes; it just needed to be captured. This was my attempt to do just that, by telling the story in pictures, but don't let all the above photos fool you. The book is packed full of other woodland friends to help move the story along as well...

Please enjoy!

"We can learn a lot about life simply by observing nature."~ DW

Against All Odds - Adopted
Written and Illustrated by Dan Waltz
Full color Paperback
Kids - adults
8-1/2" x 11 format
35 pages
49 full color photos
(All but 4 photos were taken on site.)
Also available on Kindle

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