21st Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
We fly at dawn

It was the shocking noise that greeted me after a rainy drive in the dark into California's Central Valley. Thousands of sandhill cranes, geese, and ducks waking up and calling to each other as the light begins to come. Just as the sun broke the horizon, they scrambled like an RAF squadron in a movie, the flooded field their runway as they took off for the morning's hunt.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 02.2023
Date Uploaded: 11.2023
Photo Location: outside Thornton, California, United States of America
Camera: NIKON D7000
Copyright: © Lisa Joseph