So now that I am a crane "mommy," I can tell you what it's like behind the costume.
Yes, it's hot under the white burka, but not as hot as you'd expect. Sometimes there's a nice breeze that will cut through the mesh that hides my face, and it's so cool. It smells good like nature and cut grass. We wear rubber boots so that we can wade into the pond and encourage the chicks to go swimming. The rubber boots get hot in the sun, but when we get a chance to wade in the pond, the cool water presses in around our feet. The bottom of the burka gets a little wet, but it hasn't wicked up past my knees, yet.
The time I spend as a crane is mostly quiet time. I may have to communicate by hushed whisper with other crane mommies at times. Sometimes I lead the chicks near Faith's yard. Faith is a real crane, and she's so good with the babies. She purrs to them, and I hear them chirrup back. Today, I saw Pepper Jack look at Faith, then back to me, then back to Faith....
I moved along, so he followed me. I know it won't be long before he decides not to follow me. They have such different personalities. Nacho (the oldest) is a little obnoxious, and a little bit whiney. He has never really liked following the costume, he never really liked swimming, he doesn't seem to like trying new things. However, I caught him a June bug today, and he seemed very interested in trying to eat it.
Pepper Jack, however, has been a little charmer. He eats with enthusiasm, he's always trying new things, he'll swim circles around me, foraging in the water as he cheeps happily away. It's fun to watch.
I try to watch, but sometimes it's hard because the little square of mesh doesn't always line up with where I want to see. I have to watch where I step, you never know if the little guy has scooted under you. Many times have I performed the "crazy crane mommy," where I use my left hand underneath my costume to adjust the hood. There's also a pocket in the front where we have a recorder that plays brood calls. I'll increase the volume of the brood call to summon them, or decrease the volume of the call when we're just playing in the grass. Moving my hand around in the pocket doesn't look very crane-like, i'm sure.
One thing I do know for sure. We have faith convinced we're real cranes. She tried to solicit me this afternoon.