Silkwood Sandhills 2018

Sookie & Bill Sandhill raise a family

This sandhill crane couple, whom I call Sookie and Bill Sandhill, have made their home around the manmade lakes of Bent Tree Village and The Woodlands. They used to make a nest on the littoral shelf, but apparently that’s sunk too low now. Last year, Sookie laid her eggs right out in the open on the grassy isthmus that divides the two lakes, and they hatched in the beginning of April.

From my back yard, I had the privilege of watching the two colts grow up. The last photo was taken around Thanksgiving, as they were learning how to be adults. I was gone for a month beginning in December, and when I returned in January, Bill and Sookie were empty-nesters.

This year Sookie and Bill had three failed nests in that same spot, and I’m don’t know if it’s raccoons, otters, our largest resident alligator, Gertie, or the spraying of aquatic herbicide and incessant lawn mowing. I hope the HOAs can figure out a better way to manage the lakes so that we can enjoy the vibrant natural world right in our own backyards. Yes, the lakes were intended to be drainage ponds, but nature moved back in and we need to adapt.