The Snow Is Calling And I Must Play

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Snow fell once again on our little cabin in the woods, and it was beautiful! At first sections of the ground were too warm, melting part of the snow. It continued snowing on and off and once the ground got cold, the snow stayed put, covering everything with a fresh layer of white. I ventured out several times throughout the day to take walks through the woods while also taking photos. The next morning the snow had stopped falling, so Wes and I suited up and headed out for our first walk up our road. It was so quiet, and the snow laden landscape so beautifully austere, that the setting seemed surreal.

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Snow crunched underfoot, and one gorgeous scene after another unfolded before our eyes as we followed along each bend and turn in the snow covered road, and I felt as if I was walking through a living Christmas card! 

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We were serenaded by a rooster crowing off in the distance as we walked along, and I was delighted to meet a few more of our new neighbors… several cows and some sheep! The furry cows were curious and slowly ventured up close to the fence, staying just out of reach. However, Wes finally got a friendly lick, whilst I was busy taking pictures and therefor sadly missed out on the introduction. Maybe next time! I felt as if I could walk all day and never grow weary of the wintery scene, even though I had on surely a dozen layers to keep warm. 

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sheep

The next morning our powdered sugar coated world was greeted by the warm light of the sun, illuminating the woods into a breathtaking scene! 

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Whilst waiting for the temperature to rise just a little, I darted from window to window, peering out at the snow laden landscape and watching all the birds. I saw one of our Yellow-shafted Flickers sitting upon a stump, and hoped it would stay there long enough for me to run and grab the camera. 

yellow-shafted flicker photo

It did and while I was taking photos of it, one of our Pileated Woodpeckers flew up and landed on the side of an oak tree nearby. So I started taking photos of it, and suddenly another one flew up and landed at the base of the tree! Its a rare thing to get to see and photo two of them at once, especially in the snow! So as you can imagine my day was starting off great!

pileated woodpecker in the snow

After breakfast, Wes and I suited up and headed out for a walk and it felt like we were walking in a totally different place than the day before, as the sunlight illuminated the frozen limbs of the trees and bushes and filled the snow covered ground with thousands of “diamonds” and it was simply stunning!

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Later that afternoon, I could resist no longer and just had to build something out of the snow. “So what to build?” I pondered, deciding upon a large Nessie the snow monster. I carried over small buckets of snow and dumped them until I had enough to build the larger sections of her, then scraped enough snow from the surrounding areas to build the smaller sections. I found two tulip poplar seeds for her eyes, and she sprang to life! Although all the snow melted a few days ago, parts of Nessie still remain, and it appears as if she’s slowly slipping beneath the surface. And who knows, perhaps next show, she’ll return!

snow sculpture

Of course another interesting aspect of snow, is getting to see the different footprints left by critters visiting the yard and woods. I thought this section of snow near one of the bird feeders was amazing with the numerous bird footprints in various shapes and sizes!

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I found several tracks which appear to be that of a bobcat, and in one area it looked as if two of them had walked side by side! Of course there are almost always deer and squirrel tracks as well. While the snow is now gone, I must say I’m thoroughly enjoying the abundant sunshine and am heading out into the woods for a walk as soon as I’m done.

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See our miniatures in person this week

The 47th International Miniature Art Show (MASF) is now open and You can view the show online and make purchases starting here .  The show is being held at The Dunedin Fine Art Center, located in Dunedin, FL and runs through February 6th, 2022.

MASF miniature exhibition

Our touring exhibition Exquisite Miniatures will open in February at The Evelyn Burrow Museum, located in Hanceville, AL. 

To see our available miniature paintings, visit our WEBSITE hereartofwildlife.com

Until Next Time ~ Rachelle

Enjoying Home Projects and New Shows Opening

buidling a stone patio

Wes and I have spent a big part of this past week playing with rocks, whilst building a stone patio in the backyard. Albeit a lot of hard back-breaking work, it’s been enjoyable nonetheless, as we try our hand at being stone masons. Its been great fun watching it turn from a mostly muddy section of the yard into something beautiful! One of the hardest parts of the job was bringing down wheelbarrow loads of stones from up in the woods. There’s a couple of piles of sandstone, which were considered “B” rocks and left when they mined a small section a long time ago. So I say we’re going to the “rock store” when we go to the main pile and look through the rocks. It’s very enjoyable, as you always find wonderful rocks and knowing they’re free, well, that’s the icing on the cake!

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Now that we have the patio completed, we’re beginning to construct a pizza oven in the back corner of the patio. I’ve taken photos throughout the process and will share a time-lapse video of the construction of it once I have it made. 

With a couple days of rain, we spent some time on inside projects, one of which was recovering the dining room chairs which we purchased along with the dining room table, at a Habitat for Humanity store.  I’ve recovered many pieces of furniture in my time, and even though it had been awhile, I got back into the swing of the art very quickly. It’s quite satisfying seeing the transformation of something that looks old and worn, into something beautiful! 

recovering furniture

And voila’ . . . Here it is below, looking like new! There’s actually four chairs, the forth one was just awol during the photo 🙂 We installed the chandelier several weeks ago, which totally transformed the feel of the entire dining room! Sometime soon I will share before and after photos of the inside of our cabin with you, which I think you’ll enjoy. 

 

log cabin decor

The yard and woods continues to be filled with birds! It’s truly delightful peering out all the different windows and seeing flocks of Chipping Sparrows, juncos, and so many others! The rock platform seems to be one of the favorite feeding stations for my numerous feathered friends, and it’s so enjoyable sitting in a chair nearby to watch and photograph them. 

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One of our Tufted Titmice taking a peanut

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Woody, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, trying to decide what to eat next

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A beautiful White-breasted Nuthatch going for a peanut

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A Tufted Titmouse springs a “fur collar” compliments of the wind

We enjoyed a lovely lakeside view during a van picnic one day this past week, after going into town. It’s been fun and interesting finding new parks and locations to have picnics and explore, and I’m looking forward to having time to start exploring more of the hiking trails and kayaking spots nearby. 

watts bar lake

See our miniatures in person this week

Society of Animal Artists 2021 Exhibition
The Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, located in Oradell, NJ, until January 16th, 2022

Society of Animal Artists The Kingdom Show
The Midland Center for the Arts, located in Midland, MI, until January 16th, 2022 

The 47th International Miniature Art Show (MASF) is now open and we are delighted to announce that we each received an award in the show! I got 3rd in Birds and Animals on my painting “Among Cypress Knees and Wes got 2nd in Opaque Watercolor on “Excuse Me, It’s Empty Again!” 

Among Cypress Knees

My miniature “Among Cypress Knees”

Excuse Me, It's Empty Again!

Wes miniature “Excuse Me, It’s Empty Again!”

You can view the show online and make purchases starting January 16th at 5:05 PM EST!
The show is being held at The Dunedin Fine Art Center, located in Dunedin, FL and runs through February 6th, 2022. 

MASF miniature exhibition

The two panels displaying our miniature paintings.

Evelyn Burrow Museum exquisite miniatures exhibition

Our touring exhibition Exquisite Miniatures will open in February at The Evelyn Burrow Museum, located in Hanceville, AL. 

To see our available miniature paintings, visit our WEBSITE hereartofwildlife.com

Until Next Time ~ Rachelle

The Big Snow Globe

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Wow . . . the weather here has been all over the place the past couple of weeks! Only a little over a week ago, it was sunny and almost 70 degrees outside! Then it was time for things to change, and it felt like we were living in a snow globe that had just been furiously shaken, as the snow started falling, turning the world white. It was beautiful and I couldn’t wait to suit up in multiple layers and head out for a peaceful walk in the woods! Since the ground wasn’t frozen, by mid-afternoon the snow on the gravel drive and paths was already melting, and there wasn’t enough snow to cover the gravel driveway to make it suitable for snow tubing, but maybe next time. Nonetheless, I had so much fun, dressed like a marshmallow and sitting in a front row seat near the bird feeders.

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With camera in hand, I quietly sat in the winter wonderland setting, whilst watching and photographing the numerous birds coming to the different feeders. It was truly amazing and so serene, with the only sounds filling the air being the tweets and trills of all the birds, especially the beautiful Slate-colored Juncos, who seem to vocalize frequently, with their sweet little “choo-choo” calls. I decided that was a delightful way to capture reference photos for future miniature paintings!

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There were Tufted Titmice, doves, goldfinches, juncos, chipping sparrows, several woodpecker species, Purple Finches and even a beautiful male cardinal visited for the first time! I may have forgotten a few others, as there have been so many! 

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At times sections of the yard were filled with birds scampering along the ground, searching and obviously finding tasty little seeds and bugs to eat, making it appear as if the ground is alive and moving! 

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Watching the birds wasn’t the only joy with the recent snowfall, but also taking walks along the trails. It was truly beautiful and felt like I was walking through a winter wonderland. Here are several photos so you too can enjoy a virtual walk with me through the snow covered woods.

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I love mushrooms and thought this clump particularly lovely, with a dusting of snow and our cabin in the background. 

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Another fun part of walking in the woods when the ground is covered in snow, is seeing all the critter tracks! Of course there were lots and lots of squirrel tracks, like the wee ones in the photo below, as well as deer and bird tracks. Another track I found looked to be that of a bobcat, but I’ll have to check into it more to be sure. 

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The old wooden barn in the photo below, is located in the meadow behind our property and I thought it looked like a Christmas postcard with the snow framing the lovely setting.

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Of course no matter the amount of times I have built a snowman, I just can’t resist building one yet again when it snows. So alas, I had to build a snowgirl complete with a lovely leaf bonnet. Sadly her eyes soon fell out, but with arms raised, she still appeared to be happy to feel the sun!

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Now as I write this blog post, the rain is pouring by the bucket fulls outside and has pounded the last of the snow into oblivion. However, the snow in a big long stretch of the backyard as well as the shady sections of the trails lasted until the rain, so I’m thinking who knows, it may be fun to find an old pair of skis and take up cross country skiing when we have snow! For now, I’ll be anxious to see what the ever-changing weather brings us tomorrow! 

See our miniatures in person this week

Society of Animal Artists 2021 Exhibition
The Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, located in Oradell, NJ, until January 16th, 2022

Society of Animal Artists The Kingdom Show
The Midland Center for the Arts, located in Midland, MI, until January 16th, 2022 

To see our available miniature paintings, visit our WEBSITE hereartofwildlife.com

Until Next Time ~ Rachelle