The magnificent sandhill cranes return to southern Arizona every winter. They mostly hang out in the area around Willcox, including Whitewater Draw, an artificial wetlands that also attracts other water birds.
This is the second time I have seen the cranes as they fly back from gleaning the Willcox fields for a daily siesta. They come in great numbers, wave after wave, from a few to several dozen at a time. The air fills with their insistent calls. There is something primal and spiritual about them, something I feel through my whole body as I watch their eerie alien beauty.