Out of ink. Nearly out of paper. Need to do a Digger. Need to work on Nurk. Need to pack for Con.

Obviously this is therefore the best time–nay, the only possible time–to decide that I should try to figure out a whole new way to do comics in color gracefully. Yeah! So it looks like watercolor and ink! Yeah! Surely there’s a way to do that digitally! Yeah!

To distract myself from this madness, I took a walk down to the stream.

I had been there for maybe ten minutes, and spotted a coupla turtles lazily treading water, and had just about decided that nobody was out this afternoon, and I should head back, when I heard a ratchety, grating, rumbling frog call.

And then another one. And then another one.

Rather rapidly, I was sitting in the middle of a chorus of deep, gutteral calls that went on and on, for over a minute, frog after frog. Some seemed to be above me, leading me to suspect it was a treefrog (the call was similiar to the Gray Treefrog.) I didn’t see a single frog, but I was afraid to move, for fear they’d see ME, and stop calling. It was a lovely, if surreal kind of experience, made more so by the fact that I wrote a scene identical to this in Nurk’s story a week ago. (They were bullfrogs, not tree frogs. Of course, I’m not a shrew either, so who am I to complain?)

Probably because I was sitting so quietly, a mother duck coming around the bend decided it was safe to launch her brood in front of me, and so I sat and watched nine half-grown ducklings swim by in a tight bunch.

The frogs tapered off. I lifted my binoculars to watch the ducks swim out of sight, thinking “Surely nature cannot top THAT. I’ll head home now–” and saw movement.

The ducks had disturbed a heron. It had a gray-green back and rich maroon chest, and with that size and color, there’s only one possible suspect–the Little Green Heron. I’ve had a tentative maybe-a-sighting of this heron before, based on a blurry photo of one I took years ago–but here was the real, definite deal. I watched him through the binoculars for a minute, set them down, and thought “Wow! Well, it doesn’t get any better than–”

The heron took off, flying my way, passing maybe four feet in front of me, landed on a muddy shore fifteen feet upstream. Moving slowly… slowly… one…. foot… lifted… at… a… time the little heron stalked a shoal of tiny mosquito fish, and I gave up on that whole breathing foolishness. Then wham! the heron’s head shot out, and a little shiny thing flipped madly in its beak. It swallowed it down, and began strolling up the stream.

“Okay,” I said, “in order to top that, the osprey’s gonna have to crap on my head. Time to head home…”

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