Read the full story in the Washington Post Magazine.
Early one summer morning, as rain is misting the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a middle-aged man is courting a crane. Chris Crowe, 42, bends forward in a slight bow and then ﬂaps his arms slowly, like wings. “Hey, girl, whatcha think,” he coos.
Walnut has heard that line before. The stately bird ignores Crowe, reshuffles her storm-cloud-gray wings, and snakes her head gracefully to the ground, looking for something tasty to eat.