Our amazingly, gorgeous Christmas snow event has faded into the past, and our weather here in the Smokies has settled back into its typical winter weather pattern, turning our world into a graphite landscape once again, void of color. I sit by the dining room window peering out at the varying shades of gray, when suddenly a male cardinal flies into view, landing on a bare branch nearby, bringing a beautiful shot of intense red into my seemingly colorless world. “Thank goodness for male cardinals this time of year!“, I say to myself, who bring a touch of bright cheery color to the mostly black and white landscape!
The sun did grace us with its illuminating presence one afternoon this past week, so I jumped at the chance to spend a few hours hiking in nearby Smoky Mountains National Park! We suited up and started hiking merrily along our way, and I couldn’t resist occasionally stopping to tilt my head backwards and peer up at the intense azure blue sky, while holding my arms out to the side, like a bird readying to take flight! It felt amazing being bathed in the abundant sunshine, especially when its’ warmth finally penetrated my multiple layers!
As we walked along, a murder of crows flew overhead at one point, landing on the outstretched arms of a tall tree nearby. At first they chattered and carried on as if discussing very serious matters, then commenced to jumping from one limb to the other, until finally deciding whom should sit by whom, while their discussion continued. I love crows and always enjoy a chance to listen to them and watch their antics!
We saw several white-tail deer as we walked along through the woods, and were delighted that we remembered to take our good camera this time, so that we were able to zoom in on the various critters we spotted off at a distance. This beautiful doe was enjoying eating fresh green sprouts of tender grass.
We saw at least two Northern Harriers flying above at different times. Rounding a curve in the path, we saw the one shown above, snatch something from the thickly covered ground and fly up onto a stump where it sat for a short while, eating whatever it was, before flying off once again. It was a beautiful site indeed, and we were delighted to have our better camera with us! Walking along, we noticed numerous piles of scat from different critters, and I mentioned to Wes that it had been a long time since we saw an owl pellet. Well lo and behold, would you believe just a few steps further along, I looked down and spotted this this perfectly oval shaped object, and upon closer inspection, I realized it was an owl pellet, even containing a wee set of foot bones! It was a glorious afternoon and we returned home feeling most refreshed and newly inspired!
~ What’s Happening In The Studio ~
Well, my miniature painting “Girl With a Pearl Earring after Vermeer” headed to her new home this past week, but “Mona Lisa after Da Vinci” can still be yours! Visit our WEBSITE to learn more about adding this miniature masterpiece to your own collection!
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Until Next Time ~ Rachelle