Crane not crane

A crane is carving out a roadside ditch, and several long-legged waterbirds are following behind, taking advantage of the unearthed surface of soil and mud. The crane is a machine with an invisible operator; the birds are not cranes — but that would have made the play on words very clever.

The birds search with quiet method, fluttering up and down when the crane stops and starts with threatening staccato grunts. The great white wings of the birds are held tightly when they work, looking extra cautious because of their stilt-like legs and long strides. Finally, something warns the birds and they fly up and away, abandoning — as do I — a mundane discovery on a mundane day.