An Enchanted Evening In Cades Cove
by Rachelle Siegrist
When asked if I wanna go into Cades Cove for a picnic, my answer is always . . . “Why of course I do!” and we did just that this past Friday evening with friends Tom, Sharon and Chance, and enjoyed a delightful evening indeed! Having spent this past week catching up on business stuff and getting some serious painting time in at the easels, we jumped at the chance to play in the nearby Smokies for awhile.
Upon finding the perfect spot for a picnic, we spread out our blankets and enjoyed dining alfresco, whilst being serenaded by the relaxing sound of rushing water, crickets chipping and birdsong! There is no restaurant on earth that can compete with the experience of relaxingly eating on a blanket, laid out in a grassy field, surrounded by mountains, with a nearby stream! A priceless experience, it’s like heaven on earth, and moreover, food always tastes better when eaten in the woods!
Upon finishing our picnic, it was decided that we should brave the frigid water, and play in the stream for awhile, and once our legs went numb, it didn’t feel cold anymore . . . ha ha! It was all fun and games until Chance decided it was great fun to splash me with the icy water! After I ran out of the stream, he quickly told me “Get back in Shell . . . splash knees!” Trying to be brave, I got back in, but wisely kept hiding behind his Mamaw and Papaw, which proved quite successful! Finally we had taken about all we could of the cold water, and started thawing out while enjoying a nice walk across Sparks Lane. We spotted several beautiful birds as we walked along, including a Yellow-breasted Chat, sporting a brilliant yellow chest, which we enjoyed watching for several minutes!
Yellow-breasted Chat ~ Goldfinch ~ Orchard Oriole ~ Field Sparrow
We also got to watch a Field Sparrow get a bath in a shallow area of a stream, and the zealous bather put on quite a show for several minutes, leaving very clean indeed! Of course Chance thought it a perfect spot to splash about in as well, but didn’t leave quite as clean as the little sparrow did! Chance loves for me to run with him, so we did just that at short intervals, with him telling me “Hurry Up Shell!” He thinks it’s all hunky-dory, that is as long as I don’t go faster than him!
As we walked along, several White-tailed bucks peered out at us from the tall grass, lifting their sienna heads just high enough to show off their velvet covered antlers illuminated by the evening sun, a stunning sight! Having heard that there were four mamma black bears with four cubs each currently in the Cove, we remained constantly aware of our surroundings, being sure to not accidentally come between a mother and her cubs!
As the sun began slipping lower into the evening sky, we returned from our lovely walk, and leaving the Cove, decided it was a wonderful evening indeed!
~ Fresh off the Easels ~
I finished my miniature painting on silk this past week, which I demonstrated on during our recent TexArt workshop. It features a mommy Gorilla and her baby, which I had the opportunity to watch for awhile while visiting the Louisville Zoo recently with Wes’ parents. The precious baby had just finished nursing and was spending time with its mommy afterwards, so the title “Bonding With Mommy” seemed most appropriate! I love watching primates, for they are truly amazing and seem to be pondering deep thoughts much of the time. The painting actually has metallic gold behind the silk, which shows through and gives it a real gem-like look! I’m also currently painting another dog commission this week, of an adorable Yorkie named Benji, which is so fun to paint!
Wes finished his Bison painting this past week. A painting which I had actually started some months ago, Wes painted on it while demonstrating grass painting and other techniques during our workshop at TexArt recently.
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Until next time . . .