Hillbilly Snorkeling and KA-BOOM!

By Rachelle Siegrist

rachelle Siegrist tubing

We’ve discovered a fun new exciting sport . . . hillbilly snorkeling! What’s that you ask? . . . Well, it’s quite simple to do and very relaxing! Lay belly down on an inner tube, while wearing a mask and snorkel, then relax as the river slowly carries you along. The ever-changing scenery of the underwater rocks and features unfolds right before your eyes, like an amazing 3-D movie, complete with surprise appearances by small blue colored darters, a few yellow ones and other slightly larger fish with orange fins. However, the most exciting part was seeing the foot long trout in the deepest part of the icy pool! It’s great fun and a lovely way to stay semi-warm while floating along in the frigid waters of the river. After spending an afternoon, this past week, enjoying this new found sport, I’ve decided this is to be another favorite past time of mine! I’m already looking forward to our next visit to the river!

AMERICAN flag with moon

There’s been a lot of thunder here this past week . . . man-made thunder that is! After enjoying a delightful time during a cookout at our neighbor’s Jeff and Ann’s beautiful home on the 4th, our friend Kit joined us for Townsend’s firework display that night. The three of us walked down our mountain where we joined countless others at the bottom excitedly awaiting the explosive show! It was a picture perfect night for it, with temperatures in the low 60s and clear skies above, as the first firework went up sending colors in all directions and filling the night air with massive BOOMS, which echoed off of the surrounding mountains. The impressive show lasted for quite sometime as the mesmerized audience seated on the grassy hillside “Ooo-ed and Awed”!

Firework photos courtesy of Kit Gentry

townsend fireworks 2

townsend fireworks 3

townsend fireworks 4

townsend fireworks 5

townsend fireworks 6

townsend fireworks1

Last evening Wes, Kit and I went over to friends Fred and Barb’s home, where the five of us rode down on a golf cart to meet friends Bill and Darlene, to just sit and relax while, as we waited for yet another impressive firework display. We were blessed with beautiful evening once again, as the sun sank into the sky, dipping behind the mountains across the small valley, painting a jet trail above in hot pink! The first firework was sent into the darkening sky above and was greeted with applause as it transformed the now colorless sky into a huge abstract work of art filled with color! One after another filled the nighttime sky with light and color, and the air with loud “BOOMS” as the show progressed, and concluded with more applause and whistles!

rachelle siegrist and ducksI’m talking to the sweet ducks while Kit takes their photo

waiting for fireworksThe gang waiting for the big show

We ended our fun evening back at Fred and Barb’s house  eating cheesecake and doing more laughing than anything . . . so much so, that our stomachs actually ached from it! So I told them all . . . “How fortunate, we’ve burned off every calorie we just consumed!” It was indeed a wonderful 4th of July weekend and our heartfelt thanks go out to all of our heroic service men and women whom have served and continue to serve our country to keep us free!

American flag with fireworksI know my personal photo is out of focus but I liked it with the flag showing!

We have two special exhibitions starting this week on the 12th! Our ongoing tour, EXQUISITE MINIATURES, opens at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, NY featuring 65 of our paintings. Copies of our books accompanying the exhibition are also available. Additionally, Miniature But Mighty opens at the Hannibal Arts Council in Hannibal, MO presenting 14 of our paintings. These are two great opportunities to see widely representative collections of our work in person with most of the paintings being available for purchase.

postcard digital

rogertorypetersoninstituteThe Roger Tory Peterson Institute

~ The latest paintings off of the Siegrists’ Easels ~

I finished my painting of a favorite attraction of the Smokies, a beautiful Black Bear, and Wes finished his miniature painting of three gorgeous Crested Ducks this past week.  I’m currently working on a painting featuring two adorable baby chicks, which Kit photographed for me while he was recently in Hawaii.  More of our latest paintings have been posted on our website and Facebook page.

crested duck painting by wes siegrist“Lake Shore at Last Light” by Wes


“Smoky Mountain Icon” by Rachelle

Until next time . . .


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