Water, Planets and a Crab Oh My!

A Week of adventures an Painting!

by Rachelle Siegrist

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Wes watching the Grass Carp up ahead

Wes and I have a very busy week!  While getting in quite a bit of easel time, we also managed to paint our front porch and clean our 55-gallon fish tank, which we ended up having to replace with a new one after Wes discovered the 21-year old tank had a cracked middle support on top. What a job cleaning all of the plants, rocks and gravel, but it’s absolutely beautiful now and our precious fish are so happy!  We decided to take a break last Tuesday morning and headed over to Lower Chilhowee for a paddle.

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Yours truly hard ta work while photographing the Eastern Kingbirds


It’s always a good day when it starts in the kayak, and such was the case that morning.  It was a gorgeous, picture perfect day as we headed out, and were delighted to be able to get fairly close to a beautiful pair of nesting Eastern Kingbirds!  Sitting very still and quiet in our kayaks, they didn’t mind us at all, allowing us to get several great photos of them which will become future miniature paintings!

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The beautiful nesting pair of Eastern Kingbirds



We also enjoyed watching the large Grass Carp swimming through the clear water, many times going directly under our kayaks!  The Ospreys were nesting and busily feeding their babies, taking turns flying off to catch the next meal for the small hungry beaks, each time calling out as they flew directly above!

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The Osprey flying above

Wednesday evening we enjoyed a picnic supper in nearby Cades Cove along with several friends.  Another gorgeous cool day, made for a great time as we walked around part of the loop road later that evening.

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The gang…Judy, Ernie, Sharon, Tom, Richard, Melodie, me and Kit (with bunny ears)

The resident horses were out in the fields enjoying the delightful evening, and it made my day when a young fuzzy colt came over and let me pet it and feed it grass.  Within minutes, two other horses noticed us and decided the grass on my side must be better, so they reached their necks down, munching on it while I hand fed the young one!

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We saw lots of turkey, a few White-tailed Deer and several Coyotes as well!  It was a truly peaceful and relaxing time as we walked along, watching the setting sun paint the sky above in pinks and oranges.  Twinkling fireflies entertained and dazzled us on the return trip, where we enjoyed looking through a friend’s spotting scope once back at the parking lot.  We saw the craters of the moon, Saturn’s rings, Mars and Jupiter along with its 4 moons, it was a real treat indeed and the perfect ending to a delightful evening in the cove!

 ~ Fresh Off the Easel ~

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The path leading to the beach from our hotel

Wes and I recently had the pleasure of spending time on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, while there to judge the the 25th International Miniature Art Show at Seaside Art Gallery.  We were delighted to be able to spend a couple of days exploring the area, while getting lots of wonderful reference photos for future miniature paintings!  Early each morning, I would walk down to the beach from our hotel, and take photos.  Both of our paintings finished this past week, feature seagulls photographed just over the rise in the above photograph . . . a gorgeous and peaceful spot indeed! Since the beach is one of my favorite places, I greatly enjoyed painting this miniature and imagined I was back there, listening to the relaxing surf and calls of the gulls as I painted!

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“Surf Side at the Outer Banks” by me

The Laughing Gulls in Wes’ painting were sharing . . . well mostly fighting . . . over a small Ghost Crab.  The entire time one ate, the other would throw its head back while making their all familiar call.  Needless to say, it was quite entertaining watching these two!

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“No Laughing Matter” by Wes

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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle

4 thoughts on “Water, Planets and a Crab Oh My!

  1. Susan Hoff

    Loving those shimmering pink toes…tell me, do the fish become entranced? How on earth do you get those long legs into a kayak, Rachelle? It makes me so happy that you are always doing things like this as a couple. Love the bird pictures and the NEW PAINTINGS!! Best to Wes, Susan and Doug

    1. Oh…thank you Susan and Doug!! They do when I swim in Lake Glenville over in Cashiers, NC! They nibble on them! I think that pink kayak was made for me, we are best buddies!! I feel very blessed that Wes and I get to enjoy life together in the many ways which we do!
      Big hugs to you both 😊

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