A Floating Thanksgiving

rachelle siegrist kayaking

What are the chances that the one single pretty day out of an entire week will actually fall on a holiday? . . . Well, this past holiday was 100%! So while many gathered with family and friends for a feast on Thanksgiving, Wes and I decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and enjoy it afloat in our kayaks! Armed with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for our lunch, we climbed into our kayaks and off we went happy to have the wind at our backs! Instantly I found myself amidst a flock of mixed warblers, checking, chirping and calling, as their little black silhouettes flitted from limb to limb against a brilliant sky.

photo of Loon
The loon enjoying his fish

We had paddled a short distance up the river when all of a sudden we heard a loud cry! I tried to imagine what in the world it was, and Wes even thought that I had somehow made the noise, and then we suddenly realized that it was a loon. What an amazing sound it was, funneled by the surrounding hillsides and made to sound even louder! We’ve never heard a loon cry before that close in proximity, so it was an experience we will indeed remember! Several Belted Kingfishers flew by at a high rate of speed while chattering their scolding call much of the way, and an immature Bald Eagle gracefully flew directly overhead at one point, gliding over to where it landed on a lofty perch atop a tall pine tree nearby.

beautiful stream

Our precious little friend, a Pied-billed Grebe was floating in the same vicinity we’d seen him before many times and later that afternoon, we saw three more of these adorable tiny little ducks. We found a sunny location for our Thanksgiving feast and slowly floated along, enjoying the ever-changing scenery and gentle rocking motion of the kayaks. Later we found a lovely sundrenched pebble beach where we got out and ate our holiday dessert which of course involved chocolate! While relaxing and watching the ever-changing patterns of the water’s flowing surface, I noticed something was making shadows along the sandy bottom, which were shape-shifting and at times looked like wee perfect solar eclipses! Soon I realized it was floating clumps of sand that were creating this amazing phenomenon, and found myself mesmerized for quite some time as I sat there watching the changing shadows dance across the bottom of the stream.

solar eclipse
The perfect miniature solar eclipse caused by the floating sand

Climbing back into my kayak, I paddled along until I caught up with Wes who was flyfishing, and we enjoyed a most relaxing paddle back to where our adventure started earlier and couldn’t believe it when we came upon the loon!  He had caught a fish and was enjoying his own Thanksgiving feast, graciously letting us watch him the entire time.  For what seemed like half an hour he swam all about me while I sat there in my kayak enjoying every second, most thankful for this amazing encounter!

Me watching the beautiful loon swim nearby

I took this short video of the loon, and although it’s not the best quality, it still shows how magical our special Thanksgiving Day encounter was!

~  In The Studio  ~

I’m still currently painting a commission that I’ll share with you later. Wes is painting a collection of miniature songbirds that will be comprised of 6 paintings.  This week he’s painting the Mockingbird, Mourning Dove, and Eastern Phoebe. The set will debut at the 38th Southeastern Wildlife Exposition this coming February.

Three of Wes’ miniature songbirds

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~ See Our Miniatures In Person This Week ~

A Tradition Of Excellence: American Women Artists
Until December 7, 2019: RS Hanna Gallery, Fredericksburg, TX

86th Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature
Until January 5, 2020: The Mansion at Strathmore, Bethesda, MD

In the Tradition of Audubon Exhibition
Until January 5, 2020: Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati, OH

Society of Animal Artists’ 59th Annual Art & The Animal Exhibition 
Until January 5, 2020: The Briscoe Western Art Museum, San Antonio, TX

~ () ~

Visit our Website ~ artofwildlife.com

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Read Our Monthly Email Newsletters

Until Next Time . . . 

~ Rachelle

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