A Beautiful Fall Hike in the Smokies!

Hiking to a waterfall in the Smokies, on a beautiful fall day, sounded like a great idea to me, so I eagerly convinced Wes of it too, and we were off. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky when we drove to the nearby trailhead, grabbed our walking sticks and started making our way up the side of the mountain. Rounding a few curves while making our assent, we left all man-made noise behind, and enjoyed hearing only the sounds of the crisp autumn breeze rustling the leaves on the trees, as it passed us each time. In the background, were the calls and songs of nearby warblers flitting about, as well as the relaxing hum of the chorus of crickets, all of which quickly lulled me into a deep state of relaxation. The brightly colored fall foliage was amazing, and with each turn in the trail, the scene that unfolded, was somehow even more impressive and beautiful than the one before! When offered a view of the mountains in the distance, I could see that the tops were all decked out in their bright fall colors of yellow and orange, and the warm colored foliage was making it’s way down the mountainside. Needless to say, I had to make frequent stops to try and capture the beauty of it all on my camera. Of course I had to make a few stops as well, to pat the lush green clumps of moss, most of which enjoyed the company of the dainty lilac colored petals of the wild Asters growing close by. Usually each grouping of flowers had their share of visiting insects enjoying the fall nectar they offered.

photo on spruce flat falls trail

photo of fall color in the smokies

photo of wildflowers in the smokies

Descending the long stairway made from a large log, and then rounding a few more curves, we found ourselves arriving at the base of the falls. As always it was gorgeous, especially with being surrounded by the fall foliage. I never grow tired of seeing these falls, and so I excitedly climbed the big rocks to get closer, and a better view of them. I watched them for a while, as if cast in a mesmerized spell. Watching the water dance, as it dropped over the edge to the icy cold pool of clear water below, I felt as if all was right with the world, so alas I enjoyed it and took it all in, the beauty of the scene and the sounds that filled the air. Then Wes called my attention to another site of beauty. One that consisted of a water bug floating on the water, in which was reflected the colors of the surrounding trees. Bright orange, red, yellow and green mixed with the azure blue of the sky, seamlessly melted together to form a stunning abstract pattern of colors. Soon, we found ourselves making the journey back, while all the while enjoying the gorgeous fall colors all showcased by walking in a different direction with a slight shift in the lighting direction. All too soon, we arrived back at the trailhead where we started. However, with my batteries fully recharged from my time spent in the woods, a smile spread across my face, as we drove back home.

photo of spruce flat falls in the smokies

photo of spruce flat falls in the smokies

photo of a water strider

Back at the home front, we have continued to spend much of our time painting, with me making numerous trips outside throughout the day to feed my feathered and furry friends. When the temperatures start to drop, their appetites increase, so they keep me quite busy. While eating lunch today, our resident chipmunk, Chippy, decided to be extremely cute and precious and climbed into the middle of my fall wreath and sat there, kindly posing for several photos! She looked just like a post card and will probably be debuted as a miniature painting someday soon!

photo on the spruce flat falls trail

photo of fungi in the smoky mountain national park

photo of fall leaves in the smoky mountain national park

Fresh off the easel:   I finished my miniature painting of a gentleman shooting an old antique rifle during our visit last fall to Old Salem near Winston-Salem, NC. The painting will be one of the miniatures on display while our traveling exhibition “Exquisite Miniatures” will be exhibited at the beautiful Yadkin Cultural Arts Center in Yadkinville, NC. November 15 – December 22, 2012. Wes finished his miniature painting of a Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on a Turk’s Cap Lily, which he photographed here in the Smokies, and it’s part of his series of new butterfly paintings, which will be shown at the Waterfowl festival in Easton, MD next month.

miniature painting of a man shooting

“Old Salem Shooter” by Rachelle

3 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches

miniature painting of a tiger swallowtail butterfly ont a turkscap lily

“Tiger Swallowtail on Turk’s Cap Lily” by Wes
2½ x 3½ inches

~ We were very excited to learn that Wes won “Best in Realism Award” on his miniature painting “21st Century Art Appreciation” and I won “First Place in Still Life” on my miniature painting “Still Life With Granny’s Pheasant” in this year’s MPSGS show in Washington, DC.

Come See Our Paintings This Week:


52nd Society of Animal Artists “Art & the Animal” Exhibition at the

Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, Oradell, NJ

10th Biennial Kentucky National Art & Wildlife Exhibit

October 13 – November 29, 2012: The Henderson Fine Arts Center, Henderson, KY

The Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers

October 16 – 28, 2012: The Mall Galleries, London, England

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



 Have a loved one or a beloved pet you would like captured in miniature? Contact and commission us!

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Until next time ~ Rachelle


4 thoughts on “A Beautiful Fall Hike in the Smokies!

  1. Tammy Robison

    Shelly and Wes, I always love reading you blog. You’re painting are so beautiful and these pictures are simply amazing!!! I have always wanted to travel back east during the fall season and these pictures totally convince me that it is a must.

    I think of you often, your cousin,

    1. Hi Tammy,
      Thank you, and I’m delighted that you enjoyed the fall photos! Yes, I would say a visit back during the fall is a must, and if you’re in our area, please pay us a visit!
      Hugs 🙂

  2. Susan Lyons

    I love this blog entry Rachelle. It made me feel I was right there walking along with you. Thank you for a beautiful hike on a gorgeous fall day!



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