It was our first bike ride of the season around the loop road in Cades Cove, when it’s closed to vehicles on Wednesday mornings until 10 AM. It’s a beautiful time to be in the cove, as it’s so amazingly quiet and peaceful without the sounds of motors running! Most of the time, all that can be heard is the distant gobble of a turkey or a snort of a deer, with the early morning breeze rustling the leaves on the trees above. There is however, the occasional sound of bike brakes being applied, which temporarily interrupt the natural symphony, and usually comes from my own obnoxious brakes. While riding along, we saw several White-tailed Deer and turkey wandering about the open, grassy fields. Although they had been seen in the cove the day before, unfortunately, we didn’t see any Black Bear. Oh well, hopefully next time! Being early in the season, there wasn’t that many riders, so most of the time it seemed as if we had the entire cove to ourselves, which was wonderful indeed! We stopped a few times to just admire the vast landscape bathed in the early morning sunlight, and I must admit a couple of times to just catch our breath! Having not visited the Black Gum Swamp in many years, we decided it was the perfect opportunity, and so we stopped to saunter down to it and take some photos. It is encircled with hog proof fencing and has a step-over built out of 4x4s and 2x6s which you climb to get over the fence. The still, dark water of the swamp was beautiful, as it reflected the entire scene, which lay overhead! It was like seeing double of everything! From there we continued riding along the curvy, and at times, steep road, until we came to Sparks Lane, which is a gravel road that cuts across through the open fields to the other side of the cove. Halfway across, the river crosses over the road, and I must say I had a ball riding back and forth through it a couple of times on my bike! I would ride at a good rate of speed and send the water flying into the air each time I crossed it, exclaiming how much my nephew Tyler and niece Haydyn would absolutely love doing this with me! Instead of trying it himself, Wes decided to just go with my thoughts on the experience, and so we headed back to the main loop road to continue our way around. Soon we had made it the entire way and were back to the van, where we loaded our bikes and made our way home.
Nice weather has made it very pleasant for dining on our back porch this past week, so we’ve enjoyed most meals out there. The food seems to taste even better being eaten outside, and you can’t beat the entertainment, with all of our little feathered and furry friends joining us while eating their treats and sometimes interacting in funny or strange ways. We have a pair of doves, and the male seems to think he is a major Casanova, and so he stands up tall, puffs up his salmon colored chest feathers, and approaches the female while singing “Who-Who” over and over to her. Well, she is usually just wanting to eat and when he gets close enough, all of a sudden she raises a wing and you hear this “Whap . . .whap-whap . . . whap . . . whap”, and we look over and this timid female has become a she-Rambo and is beating the mess out of this poor male! Although you can’t help but feel a bit sorry for the poor fellow, it is indeed a hilarious thing to watch! Now for the complete other side of the spectrum. We observed a gorgeous pair of Cedar Waxwings sitting sweetly close together in the Mulberry Tree by our back porch. Well, the one flew down and got a berry off of our Pyracantha bush and flew back up to the limb, with it in its beak. At this point it passed it to the other one and they passed this bright red berry back and forth several times, while appearing to toss and catch it. I told Wes that it looked as if they were playing a game of “Hot potato!” The things critters do is always amazing and so many times quite entertaining I must say!
Much of the past week has been spent with us painting during the day, while also enjoying our daily walks. We had neighbor friends over to watch old movies one evening this past week, and on another evening, met several others at our local Pizza Hut for dinner before spending the remainder of the evening talking and relaxing at their beautiful home. We’re also looking forward to our artist friend Kit, coming to join us for dinner tomorrow evening. Wes has spent several hours this past week working in the garden and watching things start to grow. I’ve added a few more flowers to my collections in our gardens as well. I’ll share some photos of what’s blooming in our yard currently with you next week, as I want to share a few more photos of our great weekend spent with friends last weekend. So sit back and enjoy . . .
Currently On Our Easels: I just finished my still life painting of chocolate! It was so hard to try and photograph it without eating it!!! But alas I somehow managed and thus was able to paint my miniature of it, while drooling . . . hee hee! Wes also finished his painting of this precious little Anna’s Hummingbird which he photographed during our recent trip to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.
~ This week’s featured show ~
Until June 2 at the Museum Of The Gulf Coast, Port Arthur, TX
~ To view all our upcoming exhibits: http://www.artofwildlife.com/exhibitschedule.html
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Until next time ~ Rachelle