Baby Birds and Get Togethers!

“Our task must be to free ourselves . . . by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”

~ Albert Einstein

photo of a chipmunk

Looks like Chippy is real mad . . . . . Ha Ha!

What a sheer delight our feathered and furry friends are to us, and how they keep us so well entertained throughout the day! The above photo of our beloved Chippy was taken out of our studio window one day this past week, and I found it to be simply hilarious, as she looked like she was really mad about something! With her tiny, furry, little fist all balled up and a scowl on her face, I thought perhaps she was mad that the corn had run out in the critter barn! Who knows for sure, but oh . . . what a great photo opportunity it made for!

As you walk around our yard or sit on the porch, you hear baby birds cheeping in surround sound, as the yard is full of various bird nests, teeming with life from all the little ones! If you’ve ever watched  parent birds taking care of their young, you will have undoubtedly noticed that many times after feeding the young ones, a parent flies off with what we bird lovers call “baby diapers”. Although many of our feathered baby’s diapers are being carried off into nearby neighbor’s yards to be dropped, we’ve noticed a peculiar thing occurring this past week. Several of our resident birds, although nesting in the neighbor’s boxes and yards, are bringing their “diapers” and dropping them on our back porch, before refilling their beaks with more food! After watching this for some time, I decided as we all like to say, “Home is where you hang your hat”, I decided for our feathered friends “Home is where you drop your diapers!” Ha Ha!!!

Mr. and Mrs. Blue have decided that they love the extra help with feeding their baby Bluebirds, and are always ready and eager for us to put out mealworms in their special feeder tray! They swoop down, and try to pick every last worm up in their beak, many times dropping them on the ground nearby, before going to cram the wriggling packs of protein into the babies’ hungry mouths. They then return to the feeder and sit patiently watching the ground looking for any sign of movement and then dive down to get the escaping worms. Sometimes they don’t find them all, so we quickly find them and place them back into the feeder, where they come right away and collect them. Now many times when we walk outside, if the parents are nearby, they “cheer” to us as if to say, “Hey . . . another order of worms please!”

photo of female bluebird

Mommy Blue with a mouthful of wriggling mealworms, which we just placed there for her to feed the babies!

photo of male bluebird

Daddy Blue gets a worm too, and it makes him appear to have a very nice mustache in this photo!

A thrill filled my heart as I looked out one morning this past week and saw Baby Bach, our precious little dove baby that was raised in the nest built outside our bathroom window, and grew up listening to classical music, mainly compositions by Bach. Thus the name Bach seemed quite appropriate for this little precious one! It was his first visit to our back porch diner, and after spending the first few minutes trying to get his parent to feed him, he finally realized it was just as easy to eat this readily supply of cracked corn himself, and went to town he did! It was adorable to sit and watch the family, and fortunately I was able to capture this precious moment in time with my camera. Although I haven’t seen him on the porch that much, I heard him just a bit ago calling out his gentle whistle call, that many baby birds make.

photo of mourning dove

Baby Bach’s (middle) first breakfast at the Siegrist Diner

photo of morning dove

Still wanting mommy to feed him at times

Wes got a new pressure washer recently and used it for the first time this past week on our deck which greatly needed to be cleaned, especially with all of the splattered baby bird diapers all over it! HA! It seemed that in no time Wes was done, and it looked so much better. The critters and birds were quite happy too when he finished so they could resume their eating and diaper splattering rituals. We enjoyed time spent with several friends throughout the week. We had friends, Fred and Barb, over for supper one evening to enjoy my homemade lasagna, fresh salad and peanut butter pie, then afterwards we watched a classic Bob Hope movie, and did quite a bit of laughing. Another day our dear artist friend Tricia came for a luncheon and spent the remainder of the afternoon with us. She and I painted on the back porch. The weather was perfect and a sheer delight while painting and enjoying visits from the numerous birds, squirrels and chipmunks throughout the afternoon. With the Wisteria still in full splendor, and surrounding us with lavender flowers, it was a picture perfect setting.

Wes pressure washing

Wes blasting off the bird bath!

neighborhood party on the porch

Some of the neighbor friends attending our fire pit party

My dad has also recently been enjoying watching the growth of a few baby Carolina Wrens that were raised in a nest, which was built in his barn. This is the 2nd or 3rd year now that these smart parents have nested in this safe haven, and didn’t mind at all my dad working nearby while occasionally talking to these precious little ones! What a great place they found to build a beautiful little nest, and after my dad sent me the photos, I thought I’d share them with you too! They all fledged the other day, and my dad and sister Hayley were there to watch this beginning of a new way of life take place! What a treat!

photo of carolina wren bird nest

photo of carolina wren bird nest

Fresh Off the Easel: Wes is currently working on a secret commission, and I finished my painting of a beautiful Raven that we photographed during one of our wonderful trips out West. I loved how the sun light hit it just right, causing the black feathers to come to life with various iridescent colors! I decided to paint a metallic gold background behind this iconic, western beauty. It’s a special powder that has to be mixed with the correct amount of water and then carefully painted over a warm wash that had already been laid down. Since it can be accidentally smeared until sealed with a varnish, it had to be handled and painted very carefully, and I must admit that it made me a bit nervous. This painting will be exhibited and available for purchase this fall during the Western Visions Miniatures and More Show, at the beautiful National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, WY.

raven corvus corax painting

“A Western Icon” 3.5 x 3.5 inches

We were excited to learn this past week that two of our miniature paintings were accepted into the prestigious 52nd Society of Animal Artists “Art & the Animal” Exhibition

Turkey Painting

“Gobble!Gobble!Gobble!” by Rachelle

Spider Mite

“The Itsy Bitsy Spider” by Wes

~ Upcoming Events and Exhibitions of Our Paintings This Week ~

~ 21st International Miniature Show at the Seaside Art Gallery in Nags Head, NC. This show opens April 28th and runs through June 2nd. Miniatures are displayed in the gallery, as they arrive, so are some miniatures are already on display including ours.

Up Against the Wall Gallery, Kingsport, TN – This gallery has over a dozen of our paintings on display!

Blossom II: Art of Flowers at the Greenacres Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH

51st Society of Animal Artists “Art & the Animal” Exhibition at the Appleton Museum of Art, Ocala, FL

Art of the Dive: Portraits of the Deep at the Wildlife Experience, Parker (Denver), CO

To view all our many exhibits: http://www.artofwildlife.com/exhibitschedule.html

“Collect the future’s history today while it is still affordable.”

Until next time ~ Rachelle

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