The Cranes

During my travels, there is almost always one thing that I get obsessed about. Flowers are a favourite – specially those new ones that I discover.  This time, it was the birds that fascinated me.

The Golden Crown Crane, the national bird of Uganda, as my colleage often reminded everyone who would stop to admire them.

They were garden residents of the Ihusi Hotel, where we stayed during our time in Goma.  They had their own garden patch – or maybe this was their living and dining room.  That’s where they would be most of the day.

At night, they would walk up the side, underneath the restaurant veranda, and on to the top corner of the property.  There they would stay the night, and in the morning, take the walk back out to their living/dining room.

I was fascinated by those crowns on their heads.  I wanted to get a close-up, as close to them as I can get, of those crowns, with the sun glinting off them.

There was only one – and maybe he was the leader of the pack – who would come closest to the walkways and to people.  My son said that I was probably the only one taking so many pictures of them, which is why he kept coming over to pose.

On the way to breakfast one morning, I found him on the ‘patio’.  This was the closest that I could get to him.  Putting down everything, I took out the camera and sat by the table.

‘Good morning,’ I tell him.  ‘I’ve come to take a close-up of your golden crown.’

He looked aside at me, then took several steps towards the edge, to the water.  I thought he was going to jump in.

I sat on the chair and positioned myself to get as many shots as I can before he jumps in, or walks away – or maybe starts to attack me for taking too many pictures of him.  lol

But I manage to get my closeups of his beautiful golden crown.

And he poses some more and turns his head to the other side …

… and a view from behind …

I couldn’t get any closer than this; he was still skittish and my lens couldn’t zoom in any closer.  No matter – they’re still beautiful, from any distance.

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