Acid eating a hole in breastbone? Check!
Nearly out of paper and ink again? Check!
Glancing at printer and uttering the phrase "What fresh hell is this!?" Check!
Waiting on delivery of backing boards? Check!
Ah...I love cons.
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..."