Wes and I enjoyed four wonderful days while camping this past week! It was the first time we’ve camped in over a year, so needless to say we were both ready! Although it rained the first two nights, thankfully it was beautiful during the day, and we spent most of our time kayaking. The second day started off gloriously with a thick luminous mist rising from glassy surfaced water, which is always great fun to kayak through! That afternoon it even warmed up enough for me to put on my wetsuit and try paddling boarding for the first time, whilst borrowing my friend’s inflatable paddle board. I took to it like a duck to water and thoroughly loved my time on it while enjoying a totally different perspective of the water and surrounding area than offered from my kayak. Afterward I relaxed on my float and swam for awhile until I started shaking uncontrollably, at which point I reluctantly got out and changed into warmer clothes.
We always spend much of our first trip out on the water, removing and collecting fishing line from trees lining the bank. Sadly, I’ve seen at least two dead birds in the past, having been caught and killed by abandoned fishing line, and it broke my heart. So the removal of it is very important to us both! After supper that evening, we headed back out onto the water for more relaxing paddling time, as well as fly fishing, being able to enjoy it even more with the fishing line gone. The next morning we awoke to an overcast sky, dense fog, and light rain occasionally falling. So after breakfast we put on our raincoats, and headed out for a nice relaxing hike through the woods. The occasional tree adorned in autumn shades of red or gold were scattered about, serving as highlights along our walk.
After lunch the rain had seemingly ended, so we grabbed the kayaks and as we were climbing in, a light misty rain started falling once again. At first I was so disappointed that the rain had retuned, but within minutes I decided it was truly a blessing disguised as an inconvenience, for it turned out to be the most peaceful, calming kayak trip I believe I’ve ever taken! There were birds everywhere as paddled along a few feet from the bank and a strikingly handsome Great Blue Heron was tucked back into a small opening, appearing like a perfectly created diorama nestled amongst the woods. Kingfishers were zipping back-and-forth across the water, chattering the whole distance, and numerous warblers were bouncing from limb to limb, while searching for tidbits to eat.
A friendly yellow-rumped warbler sitting a mere foot or so from me quickly grabbed a small moth, and didn’t seem to mind me being right there by him at all, as he jumped from limb to limb searching for more edible treats. I couldn’t believe it when he flew over to a limb nearby, walked over and started picking out a piece of fishing line which I had missed, as if pointing it out to me, knowing I would remove the danger. So obviously I did exactly that, saying goodbye to my new little friend afterward. A few feet further along, I came upon a gorgeous Yellow-throated warbler, who was as oblivious to me being right by and watching it as the other warblers were.
The methodic sound of light rain bouncing upon the surface of the water and my raincoat, as well as falling through the leaves, silenced all man made noise, creating such an intensely serene setting that it appeared almost surreal and I felt as if I was hundreds of miles from everything! The rain eventually stopped falling, and by the time we had returned to our campsite later that day, we couldn’t believe we had been paddling for nearly five hours . . . Time truly does fly when you’re having fun! We headed back out that evening, and while Wes fished, I chose to relax in my kayak while watching the sunset. It was so beautiful as the sky turned pale blue, paired against clouds bathed in an array of pinks, and as I sat admiring the immense beauty, I heard a “wooshing” sound which grew louder and suddenly a large flock of ducks flew directly above me! They did this over and over, and the sound and sight of it mixed with the gorgeous sunset was so amazing that it moved me to tears, and I felt so very blessed! Here’s a short video of the ducks, to hopefully give you a glimpse into that delightful moment in time!
~ See Our Miniatures This Week ~
See our touring exhibition Exquisite Miniatures now through November 4, 2020, at The Art Center, located in Quincy, IL. You can see several of the miniature paintings included in this exhibition on their website.
We’re pleased to have two of our miniatures featured in the on-line virtual show Strokes of the Wild October 2 through the 10th.
Do you want to enjoy your own special miniature painting?
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Until Next Time ~ Rachelle