by Rachelle Siegrist
As I slipped into the kayak, I could feel my spirit breathing a deep sigh. After five months, I was back on the water again and it felt good . . . really good! At first the river was moving at a pretty good clip, so in between paddling I peered into the clear water below, and saw a decent sized bass swim underneath. Nearby I watched a Pied-billed Grebe bobbing on the water’s surface, occasionally diving underneath while searching for a bite to eat, mixed with an occasional bath.
Chickadees were checking out nesting cavities in a tree along the water’s edge, while chattering and singing their happy springtime song! A beautiful springtime day it was indeed too, with brilliant blue skies above and abundant sunshine pouring down! Only the nip in the air and lack of leaves on the trees served as a reminder that spring has only just begun. Further along Tree Swallows and a male Bluebird fought over who the perfect nesting hole in a tree belonged to, and as we paddled by, the swallows swooped down, passing just above our heads!
Soon we had paddled far enough from the road, to experience the periods of silence I had been longing for! The kind where all manmade sounds are temporarily replaced by only natural ones, and at times on quiet waters such as these, one only talks in a quiet whisper, for to speak loudly would be a sacrilege! Only the cries of the Osprey mixed with peaceful sounds of gentle wind blowing through mostly bare trees, with the occasional calls of Red-winged Blackbirds serving as a reminder of being on the water.
Before long we found ourselves in the midst of vast sandbars, covered with mere inches of crystal clear water, giving the illusion of paddling across sand. At times it was easier to push myself along with my hands then paddle, and almost felt like I was swimming in the shallow water! We floated over long wormy looking wads, soon realizing that they were frog eggs after seeing wee baby tadpoles emerging from one alien looking clump.
Canada Geese came and went in pairs, and the Ospreys were collecting sticks and grasses for their treetop nest! While watching one of them fly in with long tendrils of grass streaming from its talons, we heard the Bald Eagle cry and quickly saw a pair of them circling above. Round and round they went slowly, until the dipped behind the mountain, suddenly hidden from view.
We decided to enjoy our lunch while slowly drifting along, which proved to be most relaxing and pleasant! Water levels fluctuated below, ranging from quite deep and green to very shallow and unbelievably clear. So clear in fact, that it appeared as if we were floating in the air above the sandy bottom below! In one of these areas, I noticed the light tan colored bottom was covered with thousands of bright, tiny flakes of Mica shining and shimmering in the sunlight as the water danced over it, giving the illusion that diamond dust was scattered all about! It was indeed a beautiful day, and I’m already greatly anticipating our next visit!
~ Fresh off the Easels ~
Wes and I both have been painting on pieces for upcoming juried shows, which I’ll be sharing with you in a month or so. We’re also delighted with our sales at the Collectors Covey Miniature Show and at Seaside Art Gallery recently!
Wes just finished this commission of two of our collectors sitting on one of their favorite beaches in the Virgin Islands, and what’s not to absolutely love about this painting! Do you have a favorite place where you spend vacation or visit, that you would like to be able to mentally escape to when back at home? . . . . Commission us to paint it!
I’m currently working on a few commissions, and a handsome Boykin Spaniel named Mungo is one of them. Below are two compositional sketches I’ve done for the collector to look at and decided which one he likes best.
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Until next time . . .