Newts, Butterflies and a Bird in My Hair

rachelle siegrist

Wes and I enjoyed a couple afternoons spent kayaking this past week. The weather was lovely, with warmer temps and the trees starting to turn that beautiful bright spring green, and several were blossoming adding to the delight and beauty of the adventures! It’s still very windy much of the time, but we get a really good workout paddling in it. The fish are starting to bite as well, as Wes caught 5 big white bass! I caught several leaves and sticks, but had fun, and isn’t that what really matters. Drawing near a small sandy bank along the river, I noticed there was a large group of Swallowtail Butterflies feasting on something. So I slowly paddled my kayak up onto the sand, carefully climbed out and sat on the front of it, while watching and photographing the butterflies.

swallowtail butterfly photo

They were everywhere, flitting about here and there, and I felt like I was back in Butterfly World, it was truly amazing! I finally snuck up close enough to see that they were feasting on the remnants of what appeared to be perhaps coyote scat or maybe even an owl pellet. Nonetheless, whatever it was, they were certainly taking advantage of it and enjoying it to the fullest! After climbing back into the kayak and paddling further along, we got out onto a pebbled covered beach to enjoy a picnic lunch. I was thrilled to see that the woods behind where we sat, was absolutely filled with the beautiful blue blossoms of Virginia Bluebells! There were so many of them, that they filled the air with a sweet, delicious smelling fragrance, adding to the magic of the setting!


Some days we walk to a nearby pond for a difference in scenery and a quieter route. Well, one day this past week, we noticed that there were several newts floating about, and upon closer inspection, we saw that there was actually lots of them all over the pond! So the next day I took my GoPro camera along with us when we walked to the pond, and got some neat videos of them, which I grabbed these still shots out of. 

newt photo

They appear to have tiny orange spots on top of their back, and it is great fun and very relaxing, watching them float and swim about.

newts photo

My precious little Tufted Titmouse friend, Tinymouse, continues to hang out with me at times! She flies up when I’m sitting out on the back or front porch, and lands on my head or shoulder, where she stays for several minutes. Of course I talk to her, and after a bit, she walks over to my hair and starts trying to collect curls for her nest. Finally she realizes that they’re attached and decides to just sit there for a little while longer, before flying off. It’s a magical encounter each time it happens, and one I never tire of!

In his spare time, Wes has been watching videos and reading about the Kratky hydroponic gardening method, and has started raising lettuce, peppers and other things that way, and is doing very well with it. Of course we’ll still be growing many things the traditional way in dirt too, so it’s gonna be interesting to compare the differences in the methods.

Let me know if you’d like to hear more about this method, and I’ll do a blog on it and share links to some of our favorite gardeners using the Kratky method.

hydrophonic garden

 1892 Every Day Cookbook

Okay, so instead of a ridiculous remedy or tidbit, today I’m sharing an actual recipe from the antique cookbook. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard of egg balls, and must admit it doesn’t sound very appetizing. But, as they say, I guess I shouldn’t knock it until I try it. So, if any of you decide to make these and like them, I’d love to hear from you about it.


See our miniatures in person this week

See the show online now here: 30th International Miniature Art Show
May 1-31, 2021: Seaside Art Gallery, Nags Head, NC (We are the judges for the show this year!)

See the show online here: The Art of the Miniature XXIX
May 2 – June 13, 2021: The Snow Goose Gallery, Bethlehem, PA

To see our available miniature paintings, visit our website,

Would you like to commission us? If so, contact us by Email

Follow us!

Until Next Time ~ Rachelle

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