Among the birds I adore ridiculously, blindly, worshipfully, is one that makes me love grasslands even more than my Midwestern flatlands background has genetically programmed me to do: the Meadowlark.

I’ve stalked them. Sat stone-still for an insanely long time, hoping they might come near. Screeched my car to a halt (when traffic permitted) to catch a closer look. Sat for a long, long time listening to their morning songs. I have dreamt in vain of finding one close enough to be captured in my honkin’ big 500mm lens; have followed them up and down the pasture across from the river house with 30 pounds of camera equipment crushing my shoulder, roll upon roll of film distending my photo vest, and hope swelling my heart. So far, nothing.

Today, on the way to work, a beautiful male, his breast puffed with masculine pride, singing his little larky heart out in a serenade in search of a mate. Where is the camera when you need it? Where is the time? Why is there a car behind me? A fleeting glimpse on a workday is the slim gift I’ll have to content myself with for now. But someday….