March 22, 2012


A fourth generation rancher, Tess co-manages Ranchlands with her brother Duke IV. She is raising her two sons on Chico Basin Ranch with her husband David.

We’ve spent quite a bit of time over the past 2 weeks talking Sandhill Cranes. It starts each March with our Sandhill Crane Photo Trip, where we follow the cranes around the valley watching them interact, court, feed and roost. About 30,000 cranes come through the valley each year on their Spring migration, some headed as far as Antarctica!

Around the same time the cranes start arriving, the temperature gently slides up a degree or two, a few bulbs begin breaking through the garden crust and the Mountain Bluebird appears. This little bird is strikingly blue, and recognizable even to the most untrained of eye. I am not a birder, by anyone’s standards, but I can see this guy from a mile away. Welcome, Spring!