As a kid, the St. Louis Cardinals were one of my two favorite teams. The other was Aguilas Cibaeñas, a fierce baseball team from Santiago, Dominican Republic, where my maternal family is from. As a kid I got to watch the games from the dugout while visiting my grand father on the weekends or during summer. I will never forget those days nor the complete lineup of the 1988 team. It may sound cliché, but all dominicans DO love baseball. Is our national sport and I suspect it will soon be on the lyrics of our national anthem or illustrated on our flag. My dad graduated from St. Louis University, and for that only reason and the framed diploma that hanged on the walls of our staircase, the Cardinals where my favorite team in the MLB. I am pretty certain it was my first obsession with birds even thou I did not noticed until now. Both of my teams had a bird as a symbol: eagles and cardinals. Because we don't have eagles in the DR, the very common Kestrel would often take it's role in popular culture, hence the team was called affectionally, -Las Cuyayas- (the kestrels). But Northern Cardinals where no where to be found our tiny island. The intense crimson-colored bird was mysterious to me and at times, I doubted that a bird with such intense color really existed. As an adult, I did not get to see a Norther Cardinal until my visit to The Greenbrier last fall. I had a very short lens ( I am forbidden to take long lenses or tripods to trips with my wife), so I could not capture any good images but nonetheless I really enjoyed watching both a male and a female while hiking the Smoky Mountains. They say good things come to those who wait, and as skeptic as I am, in this case I have to believe. While in Arizona I was able to get very good images from both the Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) and the Desert Cardinal (Cardinalis sinuatus). Shooting all day from a hide arranged by Matthew Studebaker and Dan Behm, I had the opportunity to play with different lighting and composition and achieve pleasant and beautiful images. It was not a target-species on my Arizona adventure nor it was on my priority list, but in retrospective I am certain in was a meeting long overdue with a bird that was a big part of my childhood in those days when birds didn’t matter and the only thing that flew over the cahoba trees on my block was a baseball.