Writers and artists often do on-site research for their works-in-progress. That's what I was doing recently, trying to capture those fleeting moments between winter and spring, this year on the early side in mid-March. It's when the ice goes out on the lake, cracking, crunching, sloshing as it changes forms. Warm-weather birds begin to return and join the morning avian chorus. The ground starts to thaw, grass tinges green, tulips and day lily leaves start to peek through the soil, and humans resume their outdoor activities. On-site research doesn't always work out how you expect, though. This mallard on Minnehaha Creek was too busy to stick around and pose.