I grew up on the Gulf Coast of Texas (Corpus Christi), and as a little girl I was captivated by the story of the Whooping Crane. The endangered (and very nearly extinct) cranes were down to only 15 birds in the wild by 1941. There was a heroic effort to save the majestic creatures which was focused on preserving their winter habitat at the Aransas Wildlife Refuge on the Texas coast, and helping to ensure their safe migration from Canada to Texas each year.
Today there are a few hundred Whoopers, so while they are hardly in the clear, they are an amazing conservation success story. As a girl, I was so proud of my hometown's role in saving the giant cranes, you would think that I single-handedly hatched them from their eggs!
Cranes have been back on my radar for the past few years. One of my favorite pieces of art was crafted by a traditional Chinese artist, made of paper with hundreds and hundreds of tiny cuts. This phone pic doesn't begin to do it justice!
So there I am, with cranes on the brain, just as I was beginning to develop this website. Scrolling through the Facebook news-feed I see a former classmate (Leslie Natale) pictured accepting an honor for a photo she took of a whooping crane in flight. It was love at first sight, and I couldn't quit thinking about approaching her for permission to use her photo as part of the "branding" for EFTenergycoach!
When we spoke, I found out that her crane was even more special. He is the famous "Lobstick Male", who is known to be in his mid-30's, and a very prolific breeder (with his mate of 18 years). Leslie captured his image on Valentine's Day a few years ago (how appropriate)!