The Naked Chickens


Paint . . . Paddle . . . Swim!

By Rachelle Siegrist

kayaking photo

Wow . . . and the rains came down!!!  We received quite a bit of rain recently here in the Smokies!  Enough so, that they had to evacuate one campground and close several roads in nearby Smoky Mountains National Park, due to extremely high water.  Having walked down our mountain the evening after the BIG downpour, we were in awe at the level of the Little River, as it rushed along carrying big logs as if they were sticks, and looking like chocolate milk!  However, the next day, the clouds parted and the sun came out, granting us a beautiful day for kayaking!

rachelle siegrist

Friends Tom and Sharon joined us, as we paddled underneath clear azure blue skies.  The water’s surface was as smooth as glass, as we effortlessly glided along, frequently stopping to watch fish swim beneath our kayaks in the amazingly clear water!  We explored a wee lagoon area and found the perfect picnic spot.  While we ate, Tom entertained us by showing how he could walk on water . . . Ha Ha!

wes siegrist

Of course where there is lots of sun and water that is above freezing, I’m going to do my best to get in it!  Sharon joined me, as we sat down in the icy water at the same time, letting out shrieks of pain, followed by side splitting laughter, caused by the sight of the large goosebumps on our legs.  “Ha . . .Your legs look like a naked chicken!”  I said to Sharon, knowing mine looked the very same way!  What’s better than being in the water and sunshine while laughing, needless to say, we were having a great time!

rachelle siegrist swimming

On the way back, we saw several large fish before making our way across the open water.  A cool, gentle breeze filled the air as we relaxingly paddled along, taking several breaks to lie back, letting all cares drift away.  At such times I can’t help but sing softly to myself the words “Not a care have we, in my little boat“, from one of my favorite songs.  Upon returning to the boat ramp, we noticed several Cedar Waxwings flying about and landing on the tiny tips of brush in the water.  A favorite bird of my late Grandpa, it’s always a treat for me, to get to see them!  As always, our wonderful adventure was over way too soon, and we all anxiously anticipate the next one!

cedar waxwing photo

Back in our own gardens, our beautiful resident Garter Snake, has found a new favorite location where it loves lying in the warm sun.  As you can plainly see in the photo below, it obviously eats well here too!  It’s quite use to me, since I frequently sit in my favorite lounge chair on the front porch, nearby it’s happy hangout, so I enjoy getting to see it almost daily now.

garter snake photo

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~ Recently off the Easels ~

It’s been a busy week here in the studio this past week.  I finished this pet portrait of a very handsome boy named Ace,  who always crosses his front legs when sitting like this, obviously looking totally adorable and quite proper!


Wes finished his miniature painting of a beautiful white horse in the snow, which we enjoyed watching in nearby Cades Cove.  Hmmm . . . perhaps he was trying subconsciously to cool off, painting a snow scene in winter.

Wes’ “The Whites Of Winter”

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Until next time . . .

~ Rachelle

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