Act One, Scene One.
Setting: The forest road, a two-mile walk beyond closed gates.
Sound effects: Woodpeckers drilling; Chickadees singing cheeseburger songs; Spring Peepers peeping; Wood Frogs croaking.
Props: dirt road, birch, aspen, and maple trees.
Cast: Tiny skipper butterflies flitting from one spot to another as they seek minerals from the road.
Star of the act: Mourning Cloak Butterfly: Clothed as it is like one who is in mourning.
Setting: A bog.
Sound effects: A certain Grackle with a regular rusty-gate note; turtles slipping into water; ducks in the distance.
Cast: A shy Painted Turtle basking in the sun.
A second Painted Turtle stretching its neck in reflection.
Two looking south in reverence of the day’s warm temperature.
Three turtles in a . . . bog.
And one smug female.
Setting: An underwater rock.
Sound effects: A certain Grackle with a regular rusty-gate note; turtles slipping into water; an American Bittern in the distance
Cast: An Eastern Newt (adult form of a Red Eft salamander).
A bullfrog tadpole entering its second year of growth.
And lots of leeches that change shape constantly as they swim by the rock.
Setting: varies between bird blind with Eastern Phoebe nest, tree branches, ground.
Sound effects: Fee-bee; a guttural readle-eak or rusty gate; low-pitched peek; plumbing sound.
And singing the fee-bee song.
A Common Grackle appearing aloof while consistently rasping that rusty gate sound . . .
and appearing to look upward, while really looking down.
And a Hairy Woodpecker representing many.
Some aren’t quite ready to sing yet having just arrived, like the White-throated Sparrow.
Setting: On the water.
Sounds: Canada Geese honking; Spring Peepers peeping; American Bittern plumbing; Barred Owls in a duet.
Cast: Male Hooded Merganser–an actor who loves to transform his shape for the occasion.
The action requires focus on the male’s head as he becomes the star of the show.
All eyes focus on the white patch on his head.
She goes into shock as he starts to raise his hooded crest.
She takes his show into consideration.
Scene Six: Grand Finale.
Setting: The road home.
Action: A bear cub crosses the road and pauses in bramble.
This is the first of one act plays featuring the bog and beyond. Stay tuned as life plays out in the water, on the ground and among the tree limbs.