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Animal World: Our Co-inhabitants

Four Seasons, Part 4 of 4: The Vibrance of Winter



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“…here the forest's clothed with light And in a shining sheath enrolled. Each branch, each twig, each blade of grass, Seems clad miraculously with glass…” The beauty of winter can be admired by those who have the eyes to see, the ears to hear, and the heart to appreciate it.

Another beautiful and somewhat rare winter wonder is that of the dancing crane-people. The Japanese Red Crowned Crane- or Manchurian Crane-people are graceful and rare beings of the bird kingdom. These slender bird-people have become a symbol of fidelity because they mate for life. They are considered sacred in Japan, where they often feature on wedding kimonos. These special bird-people participate in a beautiful courtship ritual in which they dance and call to each other elaborately.

Many mother seal-people give birth during these colder months, and into the world emerge many precious young babies with fluffy white fur that glistens under the winter sunlight. Through the crispy winter air one can easily sense the love as a mom and her child lovingly sniff and greet each other.

For some animal kingdom people, winter is a time of migration. The whooper swan-people migrate from Russia to the Japanese hot springs in the Lake Kussharo area. These graceful beings have been called the “angels of winter,” a perfectly fitting name for these elegant, winged friends that glide over the water. “Against the sunrise, Trumpets race across the ice -- Thundering white wings.”

Various marine beings of the deep blue sea also migrate in winter. The Southern Right Whale-people live in the sub-Antarctic zone during summer, but swim to other regions during winter. As they swim and revel in the majestic ocean, clapping the water with their mighty tails, they may also be heard singing to each other with their distinctive upcall, which rises in frequency like a “whoop” sound and is thought to be the preferred communication between whale-people families.

In North America, the American robin-people may be seen and heard during the colder months, while in the United Kingdom the European robin-people are a common sight year-round. The robin-people’s dash of warm color is certainly a welcome sight, and their songs and presence lift spirits. The gentle robin-people sing particularly at the end of winter, heralding the beginning of spring.
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