It’s eight o’clock in the morning in October. I heard their croaking and looked out of the window. And against the grey sky of the first light of dawn, I saw them. Majestic, orderly, forming a semicircle following the one that leads the way. The one who knows the direction of the winds, the wisest, surely the oldest. They are cranes, a species of bird which I admire, and which constantly surprises me.
They come from the North heading West, towards Extremadura, a region just next door to Lagartera.
I look for them and then watch them closely. Whenever I spot them, first among the wheat fields, and then under the holm oaks, I feel filled with contentment.
During the winter I like to see them foraging in the pastures. And then when they return to sleep on the banks of the reservoir. *
Hundreds of them gather together to spend the night.
My years are governed by two cycles. The first cycle is marked by the cranes, they bring me winter, a time when I am active and have the calm I need for work. In contrast to other animals like ferrets, bears and other creatures which are more lethargic or even hibernate in winter.
The second cycle begins when the cranes leave and the swallows arrive. They bring me a different way of life. Summer is a livelier time of year, with more partying. A complement to the previous cycle.
Guadalupe Suela, Lagartera, October, 2021
* The south side of the Rosarito reservoir, which is a haven for cranes, is on the northern border of the municipality of Lagartera, Toledo province, while the north side of the Rosarito reservoir is in Candeleda, Ávila province. The reservoir is fed by the River Tiétar, which in turn is fed by water from the Sierra de Gredos. The water in the reservoir builds up to form a lake because of the Rosarito dam. Then the water flows from the reservoir back into the River Tiétar.