Good News and a Great Hike!

"Sand Trap" by Wes, measures 2¾ x 2¾ inches and "The Nutritional Expert" by Rachelle, measures 3¼ x 4¾ inches

I’m excited to share with you that my painting “The Nutritional Expert” and Wes’ painting “Sand Trap” were both accepted into the 50th Annual Society of Animal Artists “Art and the Animal” Exhibition that will be at the beautiful San Diego Natural History Museum in San Diego, CA! Wes also had his painting “Resting Maribou Stork” accepted into the 35th Birds in Art Exhibition at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, WI. As you can well imagine it was a week of good news for us having works juried into two of the world’s most prestigious wildlife art exhibitions.

Babycakes in my secret garden.

We have enjoyed working in our gardens a couple of evenings and all day Saturday this past week. One can almost see the trees and flowers growing by the hour, as it all is growing so fast! Every day as we look out the windows it almost looks as if the forest will engulf our house making it part of itself. This is amazing since a mere 9 years ago when we moved here, there was only one lone Dogwood tree in the backyard and 3 small ones in the side yard! Friday, a few more flowers were brought home to be added to my gardens and admired throughout the summer blooming period. Dovecakes and friend, Muffin, have fledged their first baby of the season. I named it Babycakes and it seems quite content with this name. Throughout the day Saturday while working in secret garden, it stayed just a few feet from me and several times hopped up onto a piece of wood separating 2 beds, thus getting a bit closer to me while I worked in the one area. As I dug and planted, it sat just a couple feet away looking at me intently as I talked to it, and turning its precious head to watch when I would dig or pat the dirt around a newly planted flower. It was as if this little one was interested in what I was doing and was making sure I was doing things correctly. We continued to enjoy each others company throughout the day as I planted and it took occasional breaks to preen making itself look quite pretty. It’s keeping the parents quite busy as they come often for their seed treats so they can keep it contentedly full.

A baby turtle visits the secret garden.

Another precious little one came to my secret garden this past week, an adorable baby Box Turtle. It obviously enjoyed shrews moss lawn and of course the fresh tomato treats it was given. As you can probably tell by now, no one leaves my secret garden hungry! The shrews had a voracious appetite one evening, totally devouring their pecan crunchies in just a few minutes, so of course I gave them more. The hummingbirds are starting to finally come a bit more often, and I look forward to the day when they are here continually once again.

Me at one of my favorite "restaurants" for lunch, in the Smokies.

We went for a wonderful hike this past week in the Great Smoky Mountains. We started at a trailhead not too far from where we live. We walked for about an hour before reaching the beautiful waterfall where we enjoyed a picnic lunch. This is certainly one of my favorite “restaurants” and we were blessed to get to have it all to ourselves while we ate and talked. An Eastern Phoebe decided to hang around us as it looked for bugs probably to feed its babies. A Brown Bat also made an appearance as it flitted out from the rock crevices by the falls and went back, doing this acrobatic feat on more than one occasion. The air was delightful as it gently blew up from the mist coming from the falls while we sat and watched the incredible nature show.

Wes photographs a Yellow Lady Slipper.

Several different species of flowers were blooming, delighting not only the eyes but also the nose with the faint sweet smells that filled the light spring air. While the many Columbines were showing off their graceful, brightly colored hanging flowers, the Tall Phlox still persisted with a few blooms of its own. Shooting Stars and Speckled Wood Lilies also joined into the flowering celebration proudly displaying their own small beautiful flowers. After another peaceful journey through the woods we returned home in time to get some painting done, filled with a complete sense of renewal and relaxation.

A lovely white moth takes a rest on a beautiful Pink Lady Slipper.
A stunning little Columbine bloom.
A group of beautiful Swallowtail Butterflies enjoy puddling.

We were able to get quite a bit of painting time during the past week and I was hoping to be able to share our new miniatures with you. However, today we went for a quick bike ride and to help our friends Fred and Barb take down their art exhibit at our local visitor center and didn’t quite get to finish them, so I will share them with you next week, I promise!

I wish all of you who are moms a very happy Mother’s Day! . . . Especially to my own precious mom and mother-n-law!!

Until next time ~ Rachelle 🙂


4 thoughts on “Good News and a Great Hike!

  1. Congratulations on your beautiful paintings being accepted! I think I have told you before…The madagascar hissing roaches are near and dear to us in this house. My son had 2 as pets, and they mated so we bred roaches for awhile. Even though they are just bugs, it’s amazing how they really have their own individual tempermants and such.

    1. Hi Deb,
      Thank you, we’re sure excited about it! I think you did tell me, and it’s so cool! I bet they do have their own “personalities”, as I they most critters do once one got to know them.
      Rachelle 🙂

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