Brrrrrr . . . Baby it’s COLD outside!
By Rachelle Siegrist
Bissel, our resident blonde squirrel, enjoying her tasty treats
Well, it’s been another rather uneventful week here in the Smokies, other than trying to survive the major blast of arctic air, and the daily rituals of suiting up, and heading out with edible treats for all of my half-frozen feathered and furry friends. Thankfully, Wes found plans recently, while reading a Birds & Blooms Magazine, for making a heated birdbath, using a large tin can with air holes punched into it and placed over a lit candle. The interesting contraption is then topped with a pan of water, and amazingly the small flame keeps the water at just the right temperature amidst the frigid air, and is continuously visited by throngs of birds and squirrels enjoying the slightly heated water!
Shivers, our resident Screech Owl, has been sleeping in one of two birdhouses located in our backyard, during most of these cold days. The birds gather and sit in the tree around him at times, making quite a fuss and carrying on. Almost as if answering a dare, they take turns flying down and hover in front of the round door, while quickly peaking in, then returning to a nearby branch where they seem to exclaim . . . “There I did it, now it’s your turn!” This ritual sometimes goes on for an hour or more, and occasionally throughout much of the day!
Shivers, surveying the backyard
While that’s entertaining enough on it’s own, last evening while sitting at the dining room table, we noticed Shivers had his head sticking out of the door and was starting to watch as the sun set and the evening air darkened. While eating my supper, I had intently stared at the box with a protruding fluffy head, for at least 20 minutes. Then the mere second I looked down to pick up one of my last French fries, Wes exclaimed “There he goes . . . there he goes!”, and before I could look back up and focus on the right spot in the low light, he was gone and I had missed the sight I had waited almost a half an hour for . . . seeing him fly off! I couldn’t believe my dreadfully bad timing, and lamented my loss, as Wes of course chuckled. At that point I felt like the poor soul who missed seeing the whale surface, while unwrapping their piece of gum. Oh well, maybe next time!
I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying “If you can’t beat ’em . . . join ’em”, so with all of the unappreciated frigid weather, I tried to find some laughs in it and came up with a few sayings. So please humor me for a moment as I indulge in a little seasonal sarcasm . . . .
I’m dreamin’ of summer, when . . .
The water coming from the indoor faucets will actually be above freezing
The toilet seat won’t instantly freeze to my backside when I sit down
It won’t take 10 minutes just to suit up, to go outside for 1 minute
The freezer will actually be colder than the outside temperature
The bird’s breath will no longer be visible
It will be most pleasant to have ice in ones drink
I won’t scream when I accidentally touch my bare skin with my icy fingers
Eating “iceberg” lettuce won’t be a literal thing
I’ll actually feel the warmth of the sun . . . because every square inch of my body will no longer be covered!
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~ The latest paintings off of the Siegrists’ Easels ~
Wes and I finished our Tandem Treasure painting, of two chimpanzees, which I photographed at the Knoxville Zoo, this past fall. It was most entertaining watching them both and it looked as if the female was giving the male a serious dental checkup, thus the title “At The Dentist”. I also finished my dog painting of a beautiful Cavalier King Charles Spaniel this past week. I’m currently painting a portrait featuring a Chocolate Lab and a Chesapeake Bay Retriever.
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Until next time . . .