Kylee M. Warren
Look Up. Aim High.
As a (former?) avid 'movie buff', one thing always frustrated me with action, suspense, horror and battle scenes: that is the character's failure to look up. This fatal mistake usually left the character dead, or worse - unbelievably unrealistic for the type of character written into the script. Now, high-school students dealing with their first terrifying encounter in some haunted mansion might fail to look up. But adventurers? Soldiers? Survivalists? Characters who grew up playing Quiddtch? Characters who would be awesome at pointing out the folly of failing to look up? I digress...
Now, as an avid bird chaser and 'ruck-adventurer', I look up, usually because there is always something to see. Sometimes, it's the canopy of a forest, the color painted ceiling of clouds at sunset, or the intricate angle a building makes as it reaches for the sky. Usually however, it's things that fly.
I caught this shot a year ago today, when the first cranes flew into Bluewater. While I can't say I like this shot more than other personal favorites, it acquired more likes on social media than my 'darlings.' I do call this image a favorite for a reason; these are the brave cranes who traveled into the seasons first blue skies, and made their way north despite uncertain conditions. They are the season's scouts, the rangers and the pioneers. They also punctuate a 'Wild Blue Yonder' series I began working on alongside my postgraduate degree back in 2014. At that time, I was bored to death of 'cranes against blue skies,' but I loved watching cranes climb thermals as they tested the airs before soaring north intoi a 'wild blue yonder' beyond Nebraska's skies. I was also fascinated with the similarities between cranes and planes (usually against blue skies), and I began challenged myself to find new ways to see these birds against a blue sky. While this series will use a few images and video clips from the 2014 shoot, this first flock photographed four years later has helped me find direction in taking this series forward.
Now, after an amazing weekend in Cheyenne, I'm looking out for this year's first flock, I'm hoping for more inviting blue skies that will bring the cranes here before they head north, and I'll be sure to remember to look up.