A Dragon Who Lays Eggs

Rachelle Siegrist tubing

Well, we managed to find a nice secluded spot along the river this past week, with ample space for friends Tom and Sharon to join us while being able to socially distance. So for a couple of blissful hours, life almost felt normal. It was both relaxing and fun and amazingly we were even able to tube for a tiny distance! I was thrilled to be on the tube once again going down the few whitewater sections, and Wes and I both enjoyed the short ride several times over, before snorkeling for a while. The water was quite frigid, so I opted at first to float belly down on my tube while watching the numerous fish swim below.

Rachelle Siegrist snorkeling

Eventually, I worked up enough courage to fully submerge myself in the icy water so I could freely swim around while snorkeling. While I was watching a couple of small fish fight over a bright green caterpillar, all of a sudden a beautiful nice-sized rainbow trout swam up, and snatched the worm right out of the one little fish’s mouth before it even knew what happened! The trout sucked in the bright little worm and it was gone in an instant. I was delighted to have been in the right place at the right now, and have seen that rare sighting!

Dragonfly laying eggs

We recently watched a documentary by David Attenborough on dragonflies and damselflies, and I couldn’t believe it when I got to watch in realtime, a beautiful dragonfly lay her eggs in the stream. I got my GoPro and started videoing her, and amazingly she kept flying right up to the camera and performing her egg-laying ceremony right in front of it! I got so tickled at her and kept having to back up a wee bit to get her in focus. She did it time and time again, and I was delighted to be able to watch her for several minutes while getting some great video footage of her. I’m planning to make a short video of the different clips, but here’s a wee clip of her in action below, and I’ll share the longer with you one once I have it made.

It was a wonderful outing and so nice to be able to do something different and outdoors, while safely spending time with friends. Most of our time this past week though has been spent here in the studio working on the mini-documentary featuring some of our paintings in our Exquisite Miniatures Exhibition now at the Shafer Art Gallery in Great Bend, KS, where it will be July 9 – August 15. Once it’s finished I’ll be sharing it with you as well.


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~ Rachelle

 

Where Dinosaurs Roam

rachelle siegrist

Wes and I managed to escape to the water a couple of times this past week. We went kayaking one morning and unbelievably the weather was in full cooperation and the water was as slick as glass! Friend Kit joined us since there was plenty of open space for social distancing and it was a dream to paddle on, drifting carefree beneath mostly blue skies. We reached one of our favorite picnic lunch spots and the water was a little warmer than last time, allowing me to brave wading around nearly waist-deep in areas while watching the fish swim below the surface of the crystal clear water. Minutes after pulling my kayak up onto the pebble-lined shore, I said to Kit who loves dinosaurs as much as I do, “Look there’s a dinosaur!” There, sitting atop a large rock was a T-rex to be exact, with mouth wide open ready to eat something for sure! Of course, being the big kid I am, I was thrilled and had to have a wee bit of fun while making a video of my dangerous find . . . so here it is, try not to be scared . . . Ha Ha!

 

I love watching all the fish and turtles swimming below while I’m kayaking along, and saw more bass, some really nice sized, this past time than I think I’ve ever seen there before. I was also able to see a couple of wee baby turtles as I slowly passed them, which is always a treat for me! Another day we found a secluded spot that was perfect for a bit of snorkeling and swimming, and a picnic lunch.

baby salamander

Since there was plenty of room for social distancing, friends Tom and Sharon joined us in enjoying our own little chunk of paradise for a few hours, and for the four of us, it made life feel like normal for a short while. The water was very cold even with my wetsuit on, but thankfully I finally mustered up enough courage to get in, and after the initial shock and regaining conscience (Haha), I was glad I did and had a ball watching all of the fish, including a few good-sized trout! A baby salamander joined me for lunch, sitting right beside me almost the entire time before quickly slipping underneath a rock.

wes siegrist snorkeling

Of course, our favorite spots here at home are the porches and watching all of the critters who come to join us for meals. The entertainment is always top-notch and usually leaves me with my sides hurting from laughing so hard! One of my favorite squirrels named Growlin’ came to hang out with me one afternoon for a short while. She talks to me quite often and we carry on full conversations, and although I have no idea what she’s saying, I’m sure it’s all good! She was in a talking mood that afternoon and was most cooperative in letting me not only get some really cute videos of her but talked through them all. I’ve put together this short video of her talking to me. So make sure you have your volume up so that you can hear her and get ready to laugh!

A museum hosting our Exquisite Miniatures Exhibition in the near future has asked for a video of us talking about painting our miniatures and discussing insights behind a few of the paintings in the exhibition. Since I love making videos I am quite excited about this and have started on a mini-documentary. I’m delighted that I finally figured out a set up that will allow me to take time-lapse videos of painting a miniature, so I’ll be incorporating sections of that in this short film as well. Of course, I’ll share it with you as soon as it’s finished.

~ Special Offer ~

Our 2020 Special Offer on select older paintings is now online for a limited time. Click on the image below to see what exquisite gems can be added to your collection!

Sunlit Gray Jay painting by wes siegrist
“Sunlit Gray Jay” by Wes

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~ Rachelle

Just Too Cute

cute squirrel photo2

Like so many of you, Wes and I are spending much of our time isolating at home, so we’ve had extra time to enjoy watching our critters. We’ve also added a few new features for their dining pleasure, such as the nice little table complete with a wee china plate, fork, and placemat. As you can well imagine I have had a ball watching and laughing at the squirrels eating off of it! It’s absolutely adorable to watch and even my Carolina Wren Peeps enjoys eating peanut crunchies off of the fine china! I have so much fun watching them all, when we’re out eating meals on our porches, that I hardly even miss getting to eat out at restaurants. I’m currently in the process of getting videos of them, so I can make a fun and hilarious short video of their wonderful antics so you can share in the laughter!

cute squirrel photo

While the squirrels bring the most laughter to our lives, catching a glimpse of any wildlife in our yard is always a treat! This week I spotted a new turtle to our yard, as she is much larger than our resident turtle, which has called our yard home for almost 20 years. Then, while walking our trail after lunch one day, we heard the birds and squirrels fussing like crazy and as we drew closer to the source of all this commotion, we happened to see a very small, beautiful King Snake wrapped around a small branch of a bush adjacent to the trail. Wes was greeted one morning this past week by a mother Black Bear and her two adorable wee cubs that were enjoying our mulberry tree. I’m also delighted to say that my shrews have returned as well, and join the lunch and supper crowds in secret garden while trying to grab a few treats for themselves. We always know they’ve come, as they make a loud shrill noise at the squirrels sitting too close to their entrance holes. Of course, this always makes the squirrels jump and look at the hole, like “What in the world is that!” It’s truly hilarious and adds to the already grand entertainment of it all!

land tarpin turtle

Since we don’t consider hiking trails in the Park a safe option presently with all the tourists, we decided to go walk a gravel road there one morning this past week. It was so nice to feel like I was hiking again and getting to walk through the woods, even if we did have to share it with cars passing us by. It’s been too cold to go snorkeling yet, but I’m looking forward to getting the chance in the near future hopefully!

Rachelle siegrist in Tremontjpeg

We went kayaking this past week and enjoyed having the water all to ourselves, which was wonderful indeed! Beautiful picture-perfect weather added to the delightful experience, as did the lack of wind, leaving the water as smooth as glass and most enjoyable for paddling! I’ve made a short video from several trips to different areas which I know you will enjoy! So “hop into my pink kayak” sit back and enjoy!

I want to wish all of you Dads a very Happy Father’s Day, and especially to my own precious Dad and father-in-law!


~ Special Offer ~

Our 2020 Special Offer on select older paintings is now online for a limited time. Click on the images below to see what exquisite gems can be added to your collection!

Siegrist 2020 Special Offer


Would you like to enjoy your own special miniature painting? 

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Until Next Time . . . 

~ Rachelle