National Geographic : 1969 Jan
Ringed by snow-dappled hemlock and fir, Crater Lake highlights the 250 square-mile national park that bears its name. Its brilliant hue-a result of the water's purity and 1,932-foot depth-seldom dims, even on cloudy days. The six-mile-wide caldera formed 6,600 years ago, when the peak of Mount Mazama youth who had worked at Yamsi when the cranes were young. At milking time he would call the cows by shouting "Coom, Jussey," which meant "Come, Jersey." "So I yelled 'Coom, Jussey,'" said Hawk. "The birds immediately located me in a crowd of about sixty people and beat against the cage trying to get to me. "That satisfied the zoo people, and soon the cranes and I were headed back toward Ore gon. If you haven't driven 500 miles with a back seat full of sandhill cranes-each stand ing four feet tall, flapping six feet of wing, and affectionately biting your ears-you haven't really lived." About half a mile from Yamsi Ranch, Hawk stopped and opened the car door. The cranes rushed out and took wing. After circling above the ranch house, they glided down to join their feeding parents, Sandy and Red King. They were home again, after an absence of almost nine months.