As I set off on my 22-minute drive to campus 10 minutes before I was due to begin office hours, I prepared the perfect excuse for my lateness: I was unavoidably detained. It's vague enough to cover a variety of delays--speeding ticket, wardrobe malfunction, car breakdown, intestinal distress--but dire enough to deter questioning.
Which is a good thing because I wouldn't want word to get out that what unavoidably detained me was a kingfisher.
I heard him chattering down by the creek this morning and welcomed the sound. Kingfishers have been pretty scarce this season, so I checked the weather and the clock and calculated that I had just enough time to walk the one-hour loop, shower, change, and get to campus in time for my 9:30 office hours (that no one ever attends). But the kingfisher proved flighty so he demanded more time than expected, and then of course I was delayed by a chat with some donkeys, a search for some woodpeckers, and a futile attempt to capture on film the morning sun's rays raising feathers of mist from the neighbor's meadow.
So I was late getting to campus, but I came equipped to work. This is the result of an early-morning walk: some decent photos, a refreshing workout, and a mind brimming with ideas for my stalled writing project. Why don't I do this every day?