Breakfast With the Critters and New Miniature Paintings

Excerpts from my “Breakfast With the Critters Diaries”

By Rachelle Siegrist

ruby throated humminbird on siegrist porch

. . . I love those mornings when it’s drizzling rain during my breakfast on the back porch. Each note of the Wood Thrushes’ melodious song, hangs gracefully in the moist, heavy morning air, bringing with it complete serenity. A young Carolina Wren, sitting in the nearby wisteria vine, while learning to perfect its song, serenaded me this morning with its sweet and cheerful sound. Wes called it “Breakfast Serenade in B”, which I too thought was a most appropriate title for this delightful classical masterpiece! With me occasionally telling it how very pretty it’s singing was, only a few short breaks were taken to come and eat nut crunchies every now and then, to refuel I suppose.

. . . This morning it was raining again, a pleasant steady rain, light enough that the drops could be heard hitting thousands of surrounding tree leaves on their way to the ground, making it sound like the forest of a thousand drips. Looking out through the misty wooded backyard, it appeared as if I were sitting in a rainforest, somewhere way up in the mountains far, far away. My Carolina Wrens, Peedeepeeps and Peeps Jr. came for their breakfast of champions . . . mealworms! They took turns stepping into my hand and taking the worm, baby getting its fair share, until they had obviously reached their limit. So Peeps Jr. then spent the next half hour serenading me once again with its precious song. Such experiences cannot be bought!

chipmunk on siegrist porch

. . . As I sat enjoying my breakfast on the porch this morning, I witnessed a most amusing sight! One of our beautiful, resident Ruby-throated Hummingbirds was feeding from the bright red flowers of a Salvia plant blooming nearby. It was contentedly eating when all of a sudden the flower broke loose from the stem, resting atop the hummingbird’s head like a big red top hat! For what seemed like a minute or more, the poor little fellow went in circles with this  large red flower stuck on his head, until it finally fell off. At that point, he flew up to a small branch above were he gracefully ruffled and smoothed his beautiful,  iridescent feathers, as if he were shaking the entire undignified experience off! I apologized to him for laughing at his misfortune, but of course I continued to laugh!

salvia blooming on rachelle siegrist's porch

. . . While sitting on the porch eating breakfast this morning, I could hear the crows chattering off in the distance. They almost sounded like humans discussing something,  perhaps their plans for the day. Then one made a call, which sounded like it was saying “Uh-Oh!”  I imagined it was perhaps one of the young ones, being caught doing something naughty, and then realizing its misfortune of being caught in the act.

. . . This morning the air was heavy with moisture from the approaching rain. Thunder rolled and echoed through the mountains, sounding almost as if it had been created in a sound studio.  Along with the rumble in the background, the birds were singing and the wind chimes composed a lullaby, when coaxed by the strong breeze accompanying the rain. Lightening strikes could be seen off in the distance, since the trees were still almost barren. The smell of a wet forest floor filled the air as the rain approached, mistily falling, appearing like a light snowfall.

~    ———– () ———-    ~

We’ve spent much of our time in the studio this past week, finishing paintings to meet a couple of deadlines for shows. We did take time to spend a morning in the river, while tubing it a couple of times, before the weather turned cool. Although we didn’t see ducks or otters this time, we enjoyed the company of a water snake swimming along with us for a short time, and as always enjoyed the sheer beauty of the river nestled among the mountains, having it entirely to ourselves the complete time. We also enjoyed playing dominoes with several friends at our house this past Monday evening, and friend Kit joined us for supper and a movie last evening.

Mexican Train at SiegristsDarlene, me, Wes, Barb, Carol and Bill during the game

rachelle and wes siegrist playing mexican train dominoesDarlene laughs at the two nuts!

Rachelle Siegrist and Kit GentryKit and I at supper on the porch

~ The latest paintings off of the Siegrists’ Easels ~

Yesterday, I finished my miniature portrait painting of my beautiful little niece Haydyn , painted from a photo that her daddy took of her when she was the flower girl in my sister Hayley’s wedding last year. Also this past week, Wes finished his painting of a Barred Owl hunting alongside a waterfall, which we got to watch for quite sometime during a trip into the Smokies after a nice snowfall last winter.


Flower Girl portrait painting by_Rachelle_Siegrist “The Flower Girl” by Rachelle

lanscape and barred owl painting by Wes Siegrist

“Hoping For A Warm Meal ” by Wes

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Until next time . . .


2 thoughts on “Breakfast With the Critters and New Miniature Paintings

  1. Diane Czajkowski

    Wes and Rachelle,

    Speaking of critters, now there was no time to get a picture but: We have never seen larger wildlife close to home. But last Wednesday at 2:30 AM a Bear was 6 feet from the door where I stood. It seems that he wanted to peanut butter jar, he tore apart the garbage for it. And it was exactly where I stood in the dark 2 nights before that checking out the full moon.

    I just wished I could have had time to get a photo of him.


    1. Hi Diane,
      I bet you were very excited and so wished that you had your camera with you! We have had Black Bear on our top back deck twice, so that’s why no one leaves trash cans outside here. They’re like Wes and I . . . they can smell peanut butter from a long way off!

      Rachelle 🙂

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