My 200th Post!

 “A society grows great when old men plant trees, whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”
~ Greek Proverb

photo of hydrangea

I came across the above quote this past week and found it quite thought provoking and so very true! Being a tree-hugger myself, I love it when people plant new trees, and find it tremendously sad when trees are needlessly cut down. Such was the case in a neighborhood here in Townsend, where two big, magnificent, Magnolia Trees were cut down, for no apparent reason. Hmmmm . . . makes one scratch one’s head and wonder what in the world they were thinking! Fortunately for us, the trees in our yard continue to grow by leaps and bounds, putting a very big smile on my face, and giving our feathered and furry friends more places to romp while playing and searching for bugs and berries. It’s also an amazing blessing to finally be able to work in the yard, and be almost completely in the cool shade the entire time.

photo of a squirrel

Sweet Chestnut takes a nap in the porch rafters, during the rain storm

We were blessed with a couple days of rain this past week, and thus have enjoyed not having to water the gardens daily. During one particularly strong downpour, we noticed one of our resident squirrels, named Chestnut, staying high and dry while practically standing on her head sleeping on the porch rafters. She was there for quite sometime, so it must’ve been a great nap! The Tinymouse (Titmouse) family continues to inhabit our yard, and we enjoy eating our meals with them on the back deck. As soon as they fly up, we immediately freeze in place, which sometimes means our sandwich may be half way to our mouth, or a spoonful of something on it’s way up. Whatever we’re doing we just stop and hold really still until they come and get their p-nut crunchies. We’ve decided it’s a type of a version of freeze tag, only we’re playing with five to six birds, or sometimes more. Regardless, it’s great fun and we never tire of their visits. While sitting in my bamboo swing on the porch, the Tinymouse family comes and surrounds me, with them taking turns coming over and landing on my swing, sometimes two to three at a time, and checking me out. Once I had two sitting on the reeds, while staring me in the face and one on the swing directly above my head! This will go on for half an hour or more, or at least until Wes sneaks out with the camera trying to capture this fun and amazing encounter, and suddenly they all get camera shy and no one wants to play anymore.

photo of snail

“Hey peanut butter treats aren’t only for birds and squirrels!” says this ambitious little snail

Daily, there seems to be something new and exciting blooming in the flower gardens. The Hydrangeas are blooming beautifully now and will soon be in full splendor! They range in all shades of dark pinks, to blues, to purples, and I’m hoping to experiment and try and get a lighter pink bloom on one of the bushes. The Daylilies are starting to bloom as well, and add splashes of color throughout the gardens. One of my personal favorites is my Stella D’oros, which were given to me by my late Granny Beth. I dug them all up and brought them with me from my garden in Florida, and they are very happy and thriving here in the Smokies, and continue to give me “Granny smiles” when they bloom! So, come along with me on a walk through the gardens to see what’s blooming this week . . .

photo of Day Lily

photo of Day Lily

photo of lavendar hydrangea

photo of pink hydrangea

photo of lavendar hydrangea

photo of funji

Memorial Day we enjoyed a delightful neighborhood BBQ at a neighbor’s house. The weather turned out to be quite nice for it, after it clouded up a bit and got a little cooler. There was lots of conversation and laughter as we all sat around enjoying all the delicious food, and talking. The best part came when one of our neighbors brought two containers of their homemade ice cream, and everyone waited anxiously for their bowl full! Everyone just enjoyed sitting and relaxing as we watched the sun set lower over the distant mountains. Wes and I have really enjoyed the gorgeous weather the past couple of days, after a cool front came through, making it most pleasant for bike rides, and lunch on the porch at Subway yesterday. A highlight for me this past week, was when of our friends brought over a baby possum that she is rehabbing, for us to see and I got to enjoy petting it! What a treat!!!

photo of memorial day picnic

Our neighborhood Memorial Day BBQ

photo of a yorkie

Precious Lulu always enjoys visiting with everyone

photo of memorial day picnic

Ron isn’t sure what to think of his birthday cake being on fire!

Fresh Off the Easel: Wes finished a miniature painting of several shrimp boats at dock in a marina in Guaymas, Mexico. We photographed them during a visit to Mexico and the Sea of Cortez area last spring. It will be featured in an upcoming exhibit next spring, which will open at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tuscon, AZ. I’m currently continuing to paint on my miniature, which is part of our visiting the masterpiece series, which features me looking at the very large painting of the artist Madame Adelaide. With the beautiful clothing and marble surroundings, it has been great fun to paint on thus far. Although mostly slow going, I hope to finish it in the next couple of days.

miniature painting of shrimp boats

“Guaymas Shrimpers” by Wes is 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches

Madame Adelaide portrait miniature

My miniature of the Madame Adelaide portrait in progress


~ Upcoming Events and Exhibitions of Our Paintings This Week ~

EXQUISITE MINIATURES BY WES AND RACHELLE SIEGRIST at the Nevada State Museum, Carson City, NV (Fifty of our miniature paintings are on display and available for purchase!)

 The Art of the Miniature XX at the SnowGoose Gallery, Bethlehem, PA

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

30th Hilliard Annual Member’s Exhibition at the Town Hall, Wells, Somerset, England

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:

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

Wishing you all a wonderful Memorial Day!

Until next time ~ Rachelle


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