Orchids, Paintings and Feathered Friends!

orchid bloom photo
My second Orchid to treat me with a gorgeous bloom after rescuing it from the cold and trash can in Charleston, SC

It’s been another week of interesting weather here in the Smokies! We’ve had several days of beautiful, clear weather, bringing with it lower humidity, thus making it feel totally delightful and a bit like fall outside, while other days brought rain accompanied by very muggy air. We had planned to hike one of our favorite upper elevation hikes this past Thursday, with friends Fred and Kit, until Wednesday, when they changed the forecast for Thursday to 50% chance of rain and storms! Reluctantly, we decided not to chance it, but to wait for a prettier, preferably drier day. Of course when we woke up Thursday morning they had changed the forecast once again, this time lowering the rain chance to only 10%. Oh well . . . we said, and decided it obviously wasn’t meant to be.

fried okra
This is for those of you whom have never had the privilege of seeing this delicious southern gourmet food being prepared . . . fried okra!

photo of grilling
MMmmmmmmmmm!!!

Wes and I enjoyed the few days treating us with cooler temperatures not only with several nice bike rides, but also with grilling out a couple of evenings. Last evening we had our artist friend Kit Gentry, over for supper. Our grilling method consists of Wes building a nice fire, letting it burn down for awhile, and then when the coals are good and hot, we place our homemade grill over top of it, and cook over the fire, as it gives everything so much more flavor than just cooking on a gas grill. We topped our grill with corn on the cob coated with a small amount of coconut oil, red, yellow, jalapeno and banana peppers, black bean burgers marinated with my homemade BBQ sauce from my brother’s yummy recipe, and packets of sliced potatoes and onions with fresh Rosemary and Dill tossed in. Needless to say, it was delicious and was enjoyed while we talked and laughed the evening away! Thankfully the rain stayed away until Wes was done cooking, but started to sprinkle down when it was time to roast marshmallows for making s’mores. No matter, a true s’more lover doesn’t mind a little rain, so out I went with my marshmallows and an umbrella! After dessert, we watched night fall, as we sat relaxing and talking on the screen porch, then enjoyed a couple of old episodes of “Leave it to Beaver” and “Family Ties” on Netflix, before calling it a night.

campfire photo
Wes and Kit cooking supper!

campfire photo
Totally hardcore . . . roasting marshmallows in the rain!

The back porch is my favorite place to eat breakfast and I especially love it when it rains during that time, so this morning proved to be just perfect! As I sat there eating my breakfast and reading devotions, the relaxing sound of the steady pounding rain upon the tin roof above, and falling through the thousands of tree leaves which fill our back yard, perfectly drowned out all man made sounds, giving me the sense of being somewhere deep in the rainforest, miles and miles away from any civilization! For a short time, I almost felt as if I were the only soul on earth, sharing it only with my feathered friends that too have come to the porch to seek refuge from the pouring rain, and of course eat peanut crunchies! At one point I shared my safe haven with almost a dozen birds: a couple who had spent the entire time with me and several others, who had come to refuel, and preen their feathers as they started to dry out a bit. My two best little buddies, Stubby Mouse and Peedeepeeps, were the two that had spent the entire time with me, and had been eating out of their personal bowls of peanuts at the table with me. While Stubby Mouse preferred to watch the falling rain while perched up high in the wisteria near the roof, Peedeepeeps preferred a more relaxed approach. He sat behind me, on the small trim board that runs along the edge of our house where it joins the floor of the porch, and the funny part was that he actually stood there, leaning against the house, so much so that it was pushing his little feathers to the sides! He almost looked like a miniature version of the Fonz off of “Happy Days” standing there, striking a cool pose, as if he thought he was really something! Nonetheless, he looked totally relaxed and certainly precious, and once again made my morning!

chicken photo
I just had to share this adorable photo of my sister, Hayley’s, precious chickens enjoying a ride!

Fresh off the easel ~ I’m currently working on a peacock, painting what seems like hundreds of little feathers, and Wes finished his painting of a Siberian Tiger. I totally love the Tiger, as I think he just looks so happy!

cat portrait paining
“A Siberian Treasure” by Wes

fine art in miniature
My peacock painting in progress

It’s my 5th year to participate!!!

Western Visions is the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s largest and longest running fundraiser featuring works by over 150 of the country’s leading artists.

fine art in miniature
My miniature painting and drawing available for sale at the show

~ Opening this week: 26th Western Visions Annual Miniatures and More Show & Sale
August 17 – September 22, 2013: National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson, WY
Please Note: Friday, September 13, 2013, Doors Open 3:30PM, Bidding Closes 6:30PM, Presentation begins 7:00PM – This is the final opportunity to place your bid prior to the drawing that determines who is going home with a beautiful new work of art.

~ To view all our upcoming 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!
Don’t forget to “Sign Up” to receive an email each time I update the blog!

Until next time ~ Rachelle

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4 thoughts on “Orchids, Paintings and Feathered Friends!

  1. Good Morning you two lovely people !

    We’re here in Bay Minette Southern Alabama and it’s raining here too .
    I love your picture of the fried okra. Having lived in the US for 13 years now, all that time here in the South, I was given and love fried okra.
    Your miniature paintings are outstanding . Your painting skills are amazing.
    and I just love your emails and stories.

    Susan

    1. Hi Susan,
      I think it’s been raining all over the entire Eastern U.S. most of the time lately! I’m glad you loved the fried okra photo! I figured that there are a lot of people who aren’t familiar with it, so that would be a good way to show them. I too love fried okra and boiled peanuts!!! Thank you so much for the kind compliments, and I’m so glad you enjoy the stories and photos 🙂
      Rachelle

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