Tubing With A Duck

Although most of our time has been spent in the studio this past week, we’ve gone down to the river a couple of times to tube, fish or swim for a while.  And you know how there are those experiences in life that you’re sure you will never forget?  Well, I had one such experience yesterday morning while tubing.  Drawing near to one of the whitewater areas, we noticed a beautiful Common Merganser fishing amongst the rapids.  He caught a decent-sized fish and commenced to eat it atop a rock in the middle of the river.  He didn’t mind at all, us quietly passing him by as we floated down the rapids, and we thought that was indeed a nice sighting, but the second trip down proved to be even better!

As we drew near the section where we had last seen him, we started visually scanning the water looking for him, and suddenly there he was, fishing in the middle of the same rapids again.  This time, however, as soon as I got near him, he started floating down right alongside me, staying with me continually!  We floated down that set of rapids, and he stayed just a few feet away the entire time! Once we reached the bottom,  he remained alongside me, gliding effortlessly across the smooth surface of the water.  Every few seconds he would put his head under the water while looking for fish, appearing very much like a feathered snorkeler floating along, and he continued this practice throughout the entire stretch of placid water.

When we reached the next set of rapids, I feared I would surely lose my little feathered friend, but alas he stayed right beside me and then got right behind me, so close in fact, that I could’ve reached out and touched him!  I tubed down sideways so that I could watch him bobbing up and down while going down the rapids and when he went over bigger cascades, everything submerged except his head watching and following directly behind me.  I thought . . . “This is truly amazing!”, wondering how many people have had the honor of tubbing with a Common Merganser!  While talking to him, I watched as he followed me down the next two sets of rapids, and when we came to the place where we always get out, Wes and I stopped and floated there watching him for quite a while.  He fished a little more and then started preening mere feet from us, indeed a beautiful sight, as he floated atop the glistening surface of the water.  As soon as we climbed out of the river, he looked up at us one last time before quickly disappearing upstream, deciding since his friends were leaving, he was too.

~ In The Studio ~

I’m putting the finishing touches on my latest miniature of a mother elephant with her baby, which I’m painting on silk.  My next painting will be a giraffe which I’ll also be painting on silk.

elephant painting on silk by rachelle siegrist

Wes finished a miniature painting this past week of a Spotted Towhee which he photographed during our recent visit to Colorado.


“A Towhee Tune” By Wes


I also finished my miniature painting of two manatees visiting the beautiful Three Sisters Springs in Florida.


Visiting-Three-Sisters-Springs and manatee painting by_Rachelle_Siegrist1
“Visiting Three Sister’s Springs”


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Until Next Time . . . 

~ Rachelle

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